Blacklock’s Reporter – Feds Promise No New Taxes
Feds Promise No New Taxes
May 22, 2020 – Finance Minister Bill Morneau yesterday vowed he will not increase taxes to pay for the largest deficit in Canadian history. Morneau set no new date for a financial report to Parliament after cancelling a planned March 30 budget due to the pandemic.
“We have no plan to raise taxes,” Morneau told the Commons. The current deficit was last estimated April 30 at $252.1 billion by the Parliamentary Budget Office. Parliament’s bonded debt is expected to reach $1 trillion this year excluding pension liabilities and Crown corporation borrowings.
Morneau’s pledge came under Commons questioning over the unprecedented size of the deficit, five times the previous record shortfall of $55.6 billion set ten years ago. “This Liberal government is spending enormous amounts of money every day and borrowing hundreds of billions of dollars to do it,” said Conservative MP Bob Benzen (Calgary Heritage):
- MP Benzen: “When you borrow money, you need to show your lenders a plan for how you’ll pay it back. What will you ask Canadians to do to repay this money? Will you raise the GST? Are you going to raise personal income taxes, corporate taxes? What will the pain for Canadians be after this?”
- Minister Morneau: “We believe it’s absolutely imperative that we support individuals, we support businesses through this particularly challenging time. We recognize that it is extraordinary in terms of the investments that we’re making. We have no plan to raise taxes, but do know that when we come out of this we need a strong economy in order to get back to a growth mode that will support our long term opportunities.”
Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux in May 12 testimony at the Commons finance committee said cabinet should table a budget. “That points to the need for a fiscal update by the government to give Canadians a better idea as to what the deficit is likely to be,” said Giroux: “The (deficit) figure of $252.1 billion is very likely to be a very optimistic scenario.”
Parliament on March 13 granted cabinet wartime spending powers until June 24, allowing Morneau to authorize any expenditure deemed “for the public good” without a prior vote of the Commons or Senate. Asked at the time how much cabinet was prepared to spend, Morneau replied: “The scale of the response will be against the scale of the challenge.”
Cabinet subsequently passed an order allowing it to borrow up to $350 billion for pandemic relief. The sum is greater than the entire federal budget last year, $346.2 billion.
Original Link: https://www.blacklocks.ca/feds-promise-no-new-taxes/