11/15/2014 05:00 EST | Updated 01/14/2015 05:59 EST

Federal minister predicts 'more investments in family'

The federal minister of state for finance, Kevin Sorenson, says the government still has room, despite downgrading its estimated budget surplus, to offer more pre-election goodies to Canadian voters next year.

Speaking on CBC Radio's The House, Sorenson said the small anticipated surplus next year could get even smaller because there are still "windows of opportunity" for the government to offer new benefits for families.

"When we come to the budget, I think there will be more initiatives coming forward," Sorenson said. "There will be more investments in family."

Wednesday's fiscal update forecast a surplus of $1.9 billion for 2015-16, down sharply from the $6.4 billion predicted in the February 2014 budget. But Sorenson emphasized that is not a fixed target, and could vary with economic conditions.

'Surplus is there to be used'

"If the economy stays exactly like it is now, and if we brought forward more tax cuts, there would be a movement in where this surplus would be," said Sorenson. "The surplus is there to be used for Canadians."

Sorenson gave no specifics of what the government has in mind. But he suggested additional measures will be aimed at families.

"We want to invest in those Canadians that we believe can use it the most. This last couple of weeks, we've seen a strong commitment to families. And I believe that commitment is going to be into the future as well, and there may be more that we can do."