Most nightmares involve freakish monsters and sinister clowns that would keep anyone up at night.
But if you ask the federal Conservatives, their bad dream consists of $113 billion in that the Liberals plan to borrow over the next five years.
The opposition party issued a statement Tuesday that called the freshly-tabled federal budget a "nightmare scenario for taxpayers who will be forced to pick up the tab for today's Liberal spending spree."
Conservative interim leader Rona Amborse. (Photo: Adrian Wyld/CP)
"This budget puts taxpayers on the hook for out-of-control Liberal spending that will lead to more waste and mismanagement," Conservative interim leader Rona Ambrose said.
"The Liberal election pledge to borrow a 'modest' $10 billion per year has been cast aside and in its place a shocking $30 billion is being borrowed this year alone.
"Canadians gave them an inch, and they're taking miles."
Ambrose took particular issue with the "absence of anything resembling a jobs plan to help Canadians find work."
She said that's "particularly troubling" for people who work in the oil and gas industry — who are now reeling from oil prices that are well below what they were last year.
Finance Minister Bill Morneau. (Photo: Adrian Wyld/CP)
The Liberal budget projects shortfalls of $29.4 billion this year, $29 billion in 2017-18, $22.8 billion in 2018-19, $17.7 billion in 2019-20, and $14.3 billion in 2010-21.
Altogether, that's a shortfall of $113 billion in five years — somewhat less than an expected $150 billion that TD Bank predicted earlier this month.
The bank said it could take over a decade to re-balance the budget, though Finance Minister Bill Morneau said it could be done in another five years.
"Once you're running deficits it's very easy for them to run larger than you anticipate."
Morneau told reporters that the deficits should give Canada a "growth rate that's going to put us in a continually strong fiscal position."
But some experts aren't so sure.
"The real problem is the fact that the government doesn't have the money to pay for all the new initiatives," Craig Alexander, vice-president of economic analysis with the C.D. Howe Institute, told The Canadian Press.
"The cautionary note is the fact that once you're running deficits it's very easy for them to run larger than you anticipate."
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The Liberal government delivered its maiden budget Tuesday, March 22. A deficit of $29.4 billion in 2016-17, nearly three times the $10 billion promised during the fall election campaign, and a projected deficit of $17.7 billion in 2019-20 rather than the balanced budget that was promised in October. (Source: The Canadian Press)
One of the earmarks of the budget is a commitment to spending on aboriginal issues. This includes: - $2.6 billion over five years for primary and secondary education on First Nations reserves, including language and cultural programs, plus $969.4 million over five years for education infrastructure. - $1.2 billion over five years for social infrastructure for Aboriginal Peoples, including First Nations, Inuit and northern communities. - $10.4 million over three years for new women's shelters in First Nations communities, and $33.6 million over five years and $8.3 million ongoing for support services. - $40 million over two years for the inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women and girls. Read more here (Source: The Canadian Press)
The Liberals will be changing the structure of Canada's child benefits, ending income splitting and other tax credits for families and parents. This means: - $10 billion more over two years for a new Canada child benefit, absorbing and replacing both the Canada child tax benefit and the universal child care benefit. Targeted to low and middle-income families, the government says the new benefit provides an average increase of nearly $2,300 in 2016-17. - An end to income splitting for couples with children, the children's fitness tax credit and the children's arts tax credit. Read more here (Source: The Canadian Press)
The government will spend $2.5 billion over two years on a suite of changes, including reducing the required work experience for new entrants and re-entrants; halving the two-week waiting period; extending a pilot project to allow claimants to work while collecting benefits; simplifying job-search requirements; and extending the benefit eligibility window in specific regions with a higher unemployment rate. (Source: The Canadian Press)
- $5.6 billion more in benefits to veterans and their families over five years, including a disability award that increases to $360,000, retroactive to 2006, and an earnings loss benefit to injured vets of 90 per cent of pre-release salary. The government is also re-opening nine veterans' service offices across the country and adding a 10th. - Planned National Defence purchases worth $3.7 billion — ships, planes and vehicles — are being deferred indefinitely. Read more here (Source: The Canadian Press)
Planned National Defence purchases worth $3.7 billion — ships, planes and vehicles — are being deferred indefinitely. Read more here (Source: The Canadian Press)
The budget includes $3.4 billion over five years to increase the guaranteed income supplement top-up benefit by up to $947 annually for single seniors, and restore the old age security eligibility age to 65 from 67. Read more here (Source: The Canadian Press)
The Liberals broke a major campaign promise to cut the small business tax rate. Instead, the rate will remain at the current 10.5 per cent on the first $500,000 of active business income. Read more here (Source: The Canadian Press)
The Liberals will spend $1.53 billion over five years to increase Canada student grants to $3,000 from $2,000 for low-income students, to $1,200 from $800 for middle-income students and to $1,800 from $1,200 for part-time students. $2 billion over three years is also earmarked for a new strategic investment fund for infrastructure improvements at colleges and universities, in partnership with provinces and territories.
The Liberals' green infrastructure plan includes: - $2.2 billion over five years in water and wastewater treatment and waste management - $2 billion over two years for a low-carbon economy fund - Over $1 billion over four years to support future clean technology investments - $345.3 million over five years to Environment and Climate Change Canada, Health Canada and the National Research Council to take action to address air pollution. (Source: The Canadian Press)
The Liberals will spend $500,000 to help understand the role of foreign homebuyers in the country's housing market. The government says comprehensive and reliable data on the number of homes sold to foreign buyers does not exist right now. Read more here. (Source: The Canadian Press)
The marquee Liberal commitment to Syrian refugee resettlement could end up costing taxpayers close to $1 billion. The budget provided an additional $245 million over five years to bring in the remaining 10,000 people needed to meet the Liberal promise to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees by the end of 2016. Read more here (Source: The Canadian Press)
$142.3 million over five years will be spent to add new national parks and improve access during the 150th anniversary of Confederation. (Source: The Canadian Press
The Grits will provide up to $178 million over two years for the provinces for urgent affordable housing needs. Read more here (Source: The Canadian Press)
The budget earmarks $38.5 million over two years to strengthen and modernize Canada's food safety system. (Source: The Canadian Press)
Talking to media about the budget. Parlant aux médias à propos du budget.
Posted by Hon. Rona Ambrose on Tuesday, 22 March 2016