Federal Deficit Projected at $18.1 Billion
CBJ — The federal budget tabled by Finance Minister Bill Morneau comes in with a projected deficit of $18.1 billion with gender equality and the number of women in the workforce being made a top priority. It also puts a strong emphasis on technological investments and research as well as new plans for pharmacare and parental leave.
New spending this year is projected to be $5.4 billion of $338.5 billion in overall planned spending.
Morneau says the federal government is projecting an $18.1 billion deficit in 2018-19, dropping to $17.5 billion in 2019-20.
During the last federal election the Liberals pledged to not run deficits over $10 billion and in 2015 promised to not only eliminate the deficit by 2108 but have a $1 billion surplus, a projection they missed by a wide margin.
Canada’s federal debt as a percentage of GDP is projected to fall from 30.4% in 2017-18 to 30% in 2018-19.
The GDP growth rate is projected to slow from 3% in 2017, to 2.2% in 2018, bottoming out at 1.6% in 2019.
Budget 2018 includes a $3 billion adjustment for risk in 2018-19 and for several more years beyond.
Another $5 billion has been allocated over five years for Indigenous services and rights implementation, including an additional $172.6 million over three years for clean drinking water and $4 billion has been earmarked over five years for Canadian researchers. Just over $500 will be spent on cyber security strategies over the next five years.
For smokers, a carton of 200 cigarettes will cost an extra dollar.