The Parliamentary Budget Office reported that federal spending on consultants has increased by 16% this year, reaching a record high. This happened despite the cabinet's promise to reduce consultant spending.According to Blacklock’s Reporter, federal managers paid nearly $670,000 to consultants for guidance on how to reduce expenses related to consulting services.“Spending on professional services continues to increase,” said a Budget Office report Supplementary Estimates (B). The rate had doubled since 2015, figures showed.“Proposed authorities for professional and special services are at a record $21.6 billion,” said the Estimates report. “This amount will likely increase with additional spending requests.”.In its March 28 budget A Made in Canada Plan, the cabinet said it would “reduce spending on consulting.” It did not elaborate.The amount of $21.6 billion represents a 16% increase from the previous year's figure of $18.6 billion. As stated in the report, spending on consulting and professional services has increased in six out of the past eight years.“I will show you very soon in the coming days the progress we are making,” Treasury Board President Anita Anand told reporters on November 7. “You will see that all the ministries need to ensure they are doing their part to reduce wasteful spending.”On November 3, during an Inquiry of Ministry presented in the Commons, the cabinet revealed that managers in the department of natural resources had paid consultants from KPMG a total of $669,650 for advice on reducing spending on consultants. However, the specific findings and recommendations from KPMG were not disclosed.The company was to “develop recommendations that could be considered as options to ensure Canadians’ tax dollars are being used efficiently and being invested in the priorities that matter most to them,” said the Inquiry.Cabinet, in its 2023 budget, also proposed to cut unnecessary travel. “Those savings will come from government operations,” Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland told reporters on March 28. “I think those savings are eminently obtainable.” It was “really important to be a fiscally responsible government,” added Freeland.Budget Officer Yves Giroux ridiculed the promised travel cuts “with successive governments having announced reductions in travel expenditures, if we followed all these commitments throughout the years, the Ottawa airport should be closed by now,” Giroux said in April 18 testimony at the Senate National Finance committee. “It’s still open.”According to the Estimates report, to meet this year's travel budget reduction, approximately $150 million “is being frozen across 68 organizations.” It's unclear from the records whether these funds would have gone unspent.Parliament has not achieved a balanced budget since 2007. The department of finance has not set a specific date for when they expect to eliminate annual deficits. The cabinet plans to provide an update on its finances in the Fall Economic Statement scheduled for November 28.