Liberal Budget Is A 'Nightmare' For Taxpayers, Conservatives Say

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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."

rona ambrose
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.

bill morneau
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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Posted by Hon. Rona Ambrose on Tuesday, 22 March 2016

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