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Oliver announces balanced budget legislation

Posted in Talking Politics

Published on April 10, 2015 with No Comments


Finance Minister Joe Oliver shared details of his upcoming budget at the Economic Club of Canada in Toronto, and also shared plans to introduce balanced budget legislation ahead of tabling it in the House of Commons on April 21.

Oliver’s bill would place heavy restrictions on deficit spending, with automatic operational and wage freezes set to be triggered as the deficit runs up.

The bill would also require the finance minister set out immediate, “concrete” timelines to remedy any budget shortfalls. Within 30 days of a published deficit, the finance minister would be required to present a plan to the House of Commons Committee of Finance to get the budget back in the black.

In addition, any deficit spending in excess of $3 billion that occurs in regular circumstances would trigger an automatic operational freeze, as well as a five per cent wage cut for all ministers and deputy ministers. The wage cut would be restored when the books are balanced again.

Ministers and deputy ministers would also see their salaries reduced by five per cent during periods of deficit spending when the circumstances are not deemed to be extraordinary.

Oliver used his speech to slam former Liberal prime minister Pierre Trudeau’s financial record during his tenure in the 1970s. He then suggested a government under current Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau would bring back the same “tax-and-spend” approach to government.

“They need your money to pay for their schemes,” Oliver said. “It is the ’70s all over again.”

He did not mention the New Democrat Party.

Trudeau hit back at the Conservatives in speaking to reporters at an event in Chicoutimi, Que. criticizing them for their timing with an election on the horizon.He said finds it “a bit ridiculous” that the Conservative government is introducing anti-deficit legislation after several years of running deficits themselves.”It’s a great example of how this government simply cannot be taken seriously,” he said.


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