Phil's Editorials
Balancing the Budget

May 04, 2015

This year, our Government tabled a balanced budget, the first since the Great Recession with a projected surplus of $1.4 billion in 2015-2016.

Budgets do not balance themselves. It takes a plan and the strength to follow through. More than that, the way you balance the budget matters too. We balanced the budget by cutting wasteful spending, rather than raising taxes or reducing transfers Canadians rely on for social programs and healthcare.

The result? We are balancing the budget while maintaining the lowest federal tax burden in over half a century.

Compare this to how previous governments balanced the budget in the 90’s. Budgets were balanced by hiking taxes, cutting vital programs, and slashing billions in transfer payments. Transfer payments used for the healthcare and education we all cherish. We have returned to balance without these reckless cuts – no instability, no hack and slash.

To the opposition parties, balancing the budget is not a priority. They offer Canadians poor fiscal choices – and we all know what those poor choices look like when they are made at home.

Every day, Moms and Dads across the country sit down at the dining room table and lay out the bills. Families cannot print money. They cannot stop paying their bills. They have to find savings and make every penny count. Parents understand that the reward of responsible budgeting is worth it, for them and their kids. Parents don’t want to pass debt on to their children.

On a national scale, our Conservative government understands and has applied these principles. Thanks to responsible management, the deficit has been reduced from $55.6 billion at the height of the global economic crisis, to a projected surplus this year of$1.4 billion, and $1.7 billion the year after – great news for Canadians everywhere.

On this strong foundation, we are building a brighter future. But we must stay the course. There is a path to prosperity, and a path to spending hikes, tax hikes, and unaffordable debt. We must choose the right course – the course that will create prosperity, jobs and growth.

We know what it takes to do this – in good times, and bad. Before the recession, we tabled three balanced budgets, and paid down $37 billion in debt. This positioned us better than almost any other country for what came next: The Great Recession, the worst economic downturn since the 1930’s. We responded quickly and effectively, with a historic stimulus program. Our plan worked. We emerged from the recession faster and stronger than virtually any other major advanced economy.

When the crisis passed, we set out on a course to balanced budgets. We focused on controlling operating expenses for federal departments, and reviewed all spending, identifying efficiencies that focused on making government operations leaner.

All-the-while, our Government has maintained its priority: to put money back in the pockets of hard-working Canadian families and businesses. So it is not a coincidence that we have returned to balance while maintaining the lowest federal tax burden on Canadians in half a century.

Around the world, Canada’s reputation for sound fiscal management as iron-clad – and the world looks to Canada as a leader and economic powerhouse well-tested against the odds.

Because of our Government’s sound fiscal choices, we are now in a position to put even more money back into the pockets of hard-working families. Through our new Balanced Budget legislation, our Government is signalling its commitment to ongoing fiscal responsibility for the benefit of all Canadians.