Erin-OToole

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole promised tol take a measured approach to balance the budget over the next 10 years.

The Conservative Party said if elected, it expects ongoing deficits to be about 13% below the Liberal cabinet’s own forecasts over the next three years.

Leader Erin O’Toole said Sept. 8 he would not advocate deeper cuts to federal spending, according to Blacklock’s Reporter.

“Even without the additional growth that will result from the plan, no cuts are needed because Conservatives will run a disciplined government that limits the growth of future spending,” said the party document, Costing Canada’s Recovery Plan.

The report forecast a Conservative cabinet would run deficits totaling $127 billion in the period from 2022 to 2024. Cabinet in its April 19 budget projected $146.5 billion in deficits over the same period, a 13% difference.

“We’ll take a measured approach, a responsible approach to balance the budget over the next 10 years,” O’Toole earlier told reporters. “Our plan will bring deficits under control, and inflation as well, and will reduce the cost of living.”

O’Toole added: “We can get back to balance in a responsible and equitable way without cuts—that is our plan.”

Documents yesterday indicated:

  • Conservatives target a $57.3 billion deficit in 2022 compared to cabinet’s $59.7 billion;
  • Conservatives target a $49.3 billion deficit in 2023 compared to cabinet’s $51 billion;
  • Conservatives target a $25.8 billion deficit in 2024 compared to cabinet’s $35.8 billion.

“The Conservative plan remains well on its way to balancing the budget within 10 years,” said Costing Canada’s Recovery Plan. The Liberal forecasts appeared to underestimate the impact of current spending “based on this Prime Minister’s track record,” it said.

Cabinet in its last pre-pandemic budget in 2019 underestimated the federal deficit by 34%.

“We obviously have some challenges,” then-Finance Minister Bill Morneau told reporters at the time. “Nobody said it was going to be easy.”

“What do you say to people who think you will never set a goal for reducing the deficit to zero?” asked a reporter.

“We think this is an appropriate level of investment for us to ensure Canadians still get the benefit of a strong economy,” replied Morneau.

Morneau in 2019 predicted a $19.8 billion deficit. He later adjusted it to $26.6 billion before the Covid outbreak led to unprecedented spending.

Parliament has not balanced a budget since 2007. The Conservative Party has forecast a return to balanced budgeting by 2031.

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