Couillard Promises to Save $1.3B in Spending Cuts within 2 Years

According to an announcement made by Liberal leader, Philippe Couillard, in Bécancour on Tuesday, he promised that a Liberal government would cut spending by $1.3 billion in the first two years if it is elected. He vowed to grow revenues through infrastructure development and creating a standing committee to rigorously monitor costs.

Revealing the details of the party’s financial policy, Couillard promised that his government would not raise taxes and instead find ways to curb the debt and generate a budget surplus by 2015-2016. He alleged that half of that surplus would be used to reduce taxes while the other half to reduce the long-term debt. He added that a Liberal government would increase spending on health and education by 4 and 3.5 per cent per year respectively, and would freeze spending in all other departments for five years. However, he did assure that the Liberals would not restrict the popular $7-a-day subsidized daycare program, but aimed to eliminate the unpopular health tax gradually over a period of four years starting in 2016.

Hosting a press conference at a hotel in Bécancour, Couillard stated that “the health tax in my view was never such a good idea. It increases the tax burden on citizen’s shoulders … and it’s not efficient.” He alleged that “after a couple of years, you stop seeing the beneficial effects of the tax, it is rolled into the recurrent base of the ministry. Nobody can point to a service they have because of the tax, but everybody knows that each year they have to pay the tax.”

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