Prime Minister Stephen Harper reiterated on Thursday that last fiscal year’s deficit of his federal government was just $5.2 billion, i.e. significantly lower than the $16.6 billion projected in the budget. He alleged that the government is expecting a small shortfall in 2014-15 but it still aims to implement major promises from the last election campaign. These prominent promises included income-splitting for families with children and increasing annual contributions for tax-free savings accounts to $10,000.
Analysts predict that this better-than-expected financial picture will allow the Conservative government to have expressively more dollars to spend on tax breaks and other goodies for voters leading up to a federal election slated for October 2015. Addressing the Brampton and Mississauga Boards of Trade, Harper revealed that the federal deficit for the 2013-14 fiscal year that ended in March was $5.2 billion, i.e. “significantly lower” than the $16.6 billion forecast in the February budget. Furthermore, Harper alleged that the government is still on track to return to surplus sometime in 2015, but this year might still end with a small deficit as the budget projected a $2.9-billion shortfall in 2014-15 and a $6.4-billion surplus in 2015-16.