Finance Minister, Jim Flaherty, mentioned in an extremely adamant and confident manner that Ottawa will overcome the federal deficit “without doubt” by 2015, which seems to be his most clear statement so far regarding when will Ottawa balance its books. Minister Flaherty was speaking at his annual summer retreat with business and policy leaders. Just as in previous years, Mr. Flaherty reviewed first outlines of his next budget during the address, alleging that the budget of this year will be a lot like last year.
The minister told reporters that “if you’re looking for anything startling from the Department of Finance, I think you’ll be disappointed.” The minister also joked that his staff has equipped him with a rubber stamp that says “no,” and he will be using it a lot in the coming months as he plans to reject any requests for new spending. Mr. Flaherty’s well-founded language regarding the time to balance the books is of extreme importance as he usually tries to avoid such definitive comments.
The government is set to release its official deficit number in the fall, for the fiscal year that ended March 31. The deficit estimated at the time of the March 2013 budget is around $25.9-billion, while the estimated deficit for the current fiscal year is estimated at $18.7-billion, along with $6.6-billion for 2014-15. Eventually in March of 2015-16, Mr. Flaherty is sure that he will definitely post a surplus. He informed reporters that “we’re going to balance the budget without doubt in 2015.”
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