Harper Reveals Last Years’ Deficit Was ‘Significantly Lower’

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.

In his Brampton, Ont., event, Harper stated that “our certainty that we’ll move to surplus in 2015 will continue to be the case,” adding that “the government has no plan or no intention to move this year into a surplus. We continue to intend to run a small deficit this year before returning to surplus. We also intend, however, to move quickly to implement promises that we made to Canadians during the last election.”

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