Thursday, January 22, 2009

Ottawa to Bleed $64-billion Over Two Years

(Steve Chase — Globe & Mail)

The Harper government will run deficits over the next two years totalling $64-billion, a top official announced yesterday, also acknowledging it will take up to five years to return to balanced budgets.

A senior official said the Tories expect to run a $34-billion deficit in the fiscal year starting April 1 and a $30-billion shortfall in the year after. “At that point we will see deficits diminish and we forecast a return to surplus within five years.”

The Conservatives appear to be releasing projected deficit figures ahead of time to ensure the focus shifts to the stimulus spending measures when they release their budget on Jan. 27.

Outside forecasters have beat the government to the punch in recent weeks in delivering the gloomy news about Ottawa's fiscal future. Read more here.

Related: Senior government official scoops finance minister — Macleans blog.