The Liberals’ First Budget

March 21, 2021

The Liberal Government is expected to table its 2016 Federal Budget next Tuesday, March 22nd. We know that the Liberals will borrow tens of billions of dollars to fund election promises, with no clear plan to encourage job creation. The result will be higher taxes for Canadian families and job creating businesses. The Conservative Party left the Liberals with a surplus, according to both Department of Finance officials and the Parliamentary Budget Officer,  and had the best job creation record among G7 countries. As a result, we were able to keep taxes low for Canadian families and businesses.

When it comes to spending your money, the Liberals just can’t help themselves. Finance Minister Bill Morneau will have to borrow much more than the $10 billion he promised to pay for the Liberal Government`s spending promises. This debt will need to be paid back by future generations.  In fact, estimates are currently running at around a $30 billion deficit in the first year alone.

At the end of last year, the Liberals had more than 3 billion dollars in the bank. They’ve blown through that money and now need to break their election promise and borrow even more money. Economists now say that the Liberals will rack up more than $150 billion debt over the next four years.

Canadians elected the Liberals on a promise to borrow $10 billion dollars. That’s what we’ll hold them to. Our concern is that they’re now using this as a starting point. The economy is not growing as fast we’d all like, but that isn’t a license to spend billions of dollars we don’t have.

There’s still a lot of uncertainty in global markets. At a time like this, it’s important for us to be responsible and live within our means. We don’t want to find ourselves facing another crisis with no room to manoeuvre.

The Liberals will need to pay this money back by increasing taxes on hardworking Canadian families and job creating businesses. Already the Liberals are raising taxes on personal savings, workers and small businesses. With an economy in trouble due to low oil prices, Canadians can’t afford to have their pockets emptied any further.

Job creating businesses won`t invest in the Canadian economy if they do not know the cost of doing business. Saddling businesses with higher taxes, changing the rules of the game when they aren’t looking, and handing borrowed money from one politician to another will not create jobs.

More than 100,000 Canadians from across the country are out of work in the oil and gas industry alone, and those out of work Canadians are being left behind.

Canada`s unemployment rate has increased for three consecutive months, despite the Liberal Government spending billions of dollars during the same time period.

Canada’s Conservatives will demand a real plan to create jobs, fight to keep more money in the pockets of hardworking Canadians, and push the Liberals to live within their means and not borrow billions of dollars the country doesn’t have.

We know the recipe for job creation: low taxes, low red tape, open competition, free trade, successful businesses and responsible spending of taxpayer money. That’s what the government should focus on.

The Conservative record is clear. We created jobs: during the worst global economic downturn since the Great Recession, Canada had the best job creation and economic growth record among G7 countries.

We balanced budgets: after running a targeted stimulus program to respond to the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, which created and maintained approximately 200,000 jobs, we kept our promise to balance the budget and left the Liberals with a $3.2 billion surplus (at the end of 2015).

We lowered taxes: we reduced taxes a total of 180 times across the board, including the GST, income taxes and businesses taxes to their lowest point in 50 years, with a typical family of four saving almost $7000 per year

The real test will be to see if the Liberals introduce policies to get businesses expanding and hiring workers.  Every economist knows that the only reason our economy has slowed is because companies have stopped investing. I can’t understand how the current Liberal approach—more government spending, higher taxes, regulatory uncertainty—is going to solve this problem.

There are commercial viable projects all over this country—from Energy East to upgrades to telecommunications networks, to the Billy Bishop airport expansion—that could get off the ground at no cost to taxpayers. They should find out how they can make those projects happen before telling us they need to borrow more money.