What will be in the budget?

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Troublesome Thomas
What will be in the budget?

My guess?

The conservatives will include just a sprinkling of poison pills - nothing egregious, nothing that would resonate strongly with the general public - but enough that the opposition parties will have a very hard time supporting it.

Now since prorogation effectively killed all legislation that was on the table, the Home Renovation Tax Credit is also dead. So the conservative narrative will be "well we wanted to offer this great tax credit to Canadians, but the opposition parties have decided to take that away by voting against the budget. Don't blame us. Blame the Liberals."

In other words, I fully expect to be blackmailed with my own money in March.



Sean in Ottawa

Can you provide a link?-- I thought they got the reno credit through?

I'm a tenant so it did not affect me but still this would be a huge broken promise if that gets/stays dead.

Le T Le T's picture

I'm a tenant so it did not affect me but still this would be a huge broken promise if that gets/stays dead.

There would be a lot of angry middle-class voters left hold the bill for their new kitchens. Outrageous! "Shame!" they will cry.


Luckily, for a great many kitchen renovators, and for Harper, this passed ... that was the bill that devious dead soul wanted to get through before eating perrogies all winter long.



Home Renovation Tax Credit (HRTC)

Only available for the 2009 tax year.

The Home Renovation Tax Credit is a non-refundable tax credit based on eligible expenses for improvements to your house, condo or cottage. It can be claimed on your 2009 income tax return. It applies to work performed or goods acquired after January 27, 2009, and before February 1, 2010 under an agreement entered into after January 27, 2009.

Important Notice
Eligible expenses for goods acquired during this period, even if they are installed after January 2010, will still qualify. If an eligible expense involves work performed by a contractor or a third party, and the work is not completed by the end of the eligible period, only the portion that is completed before February 1, 2010 will qualify even if a payment has been made.

The HRTC applies to eligible expenses of more than $1,000, but not more than $10,000, resulting in a maximum non-refundable tax credit of $1,350 [($10,000 - $1,000) × 15%].


Sean in Ottawa

BS-- lots of BS-- to answer the opening question.


BS to feature:

how economic growth and moderate spending trimming will take care of the growing deficit, without a need for tax increases, ever.

how this is very doable but requires a very steady hand on the tiller.

And you are going to hear this PLENTY, long before the Budget is tabled. Thats just the final staged event, the encore... the road show is already under way- fisrt stop St. Stephens, New Brunswick.... and 8 weeks more of this.

"Did I tell you yet..."


The actual contents of the Budget will be anti-climactic. Or would be, except that by the time its tabled, any hint of mystery or surprise will have been long lulled away.

The only drama will be in the crass manipulation. That would make a great movie, but you'd never know it living through the real thing at ground zero.


The manipulation has already started. I received an advertisement about all the lovely tax cuts implemented so far along with my tax package yesterday.

Sean in Ottawa

There is little response to this thread even though it is an important topic.That says a lot about this government and in itself proves a point. These are difficult times this should be an importtant budget.

I think the reason there are few responses is this asks what will be in the budget -- if the OP asked what will not be in the budget perhaps more would jump in-- but you can arrive at an answer through deduction so that is what I'll do:

This government does not believe in leadership or a role for government in society so the budget will not contain:

1) Any plan or initiative that will do anything about global warming-- the government still does not beleive in the science although it accepts that it can no longer say so out loud.

2) Any attempt to address an industrial strategy for Canada to address the restructuring that is going on now. Most economists now understand that much of the country is not going to recover from the changes we saw last year.

3) There will be no plan to secure social supportsboth income and health that this country needs-- there may be somethign on pensions but we should be worried that the best they would do is nothing-- more likely there will be some element that will leave wwealthy people better off at the expense of the rest

4) There will be no attempt to secure a sound financial footing for the government. The recession was exactly what they wanted. The Conservatives since they came to power have been trying to strip the fiscal capacity of the federal government as a way to limit its involvement in the economy. They now have a deficit that they would have created regardless through military spending and tax cuts. The recession and stimulus spending just make it easer to affect their retreat from governance.

What the budget may contain are measures to centralize power further-- perhaps as I suggested they will come back to using austerity to take away financing for political parties again-- hard to say. They may cut the budget officer's money-- this kind of thing.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

Murray Dobbin thinks significant cuts will be in the budget.


[url=http://rabble.ca/columnists/2010/01/]Harper's plan: A new era of austerity[/url]

This coming budget was set in motion by Jim Flaherty's 2007 budget which launched a five-year, $60 billion tax cut -- largely for the wealthy and corporations. He then gave up another $12 billion in revenue by knocking two points off the GST. That effectively created a structural deficit -- that is, an assault on the tax base that means we cannot avoid yearly deficits in the future no matter what happens to the economy. This was confirmed last fall by Kevin Page head of the Parliamentary Budget Office who stated that in 2013-14, when the economy will have recovered, the deficit will still be $18.9 billion.

Flaherty had to know that his tax cuts would create a structural deficit and indeed it is the tool -- the useful crisis -- he needs to justify the cuts in his upcoming budget. The financial crisis and stimulus spending postponed the day of reckoning but it is now upon us. Flaherty has made it clear that he will not deal with the deficit through any tax increases so look for massive layoffs of federal employees, the shutting down of government agencies and large cuts to others, a wage freeze, an attack on federal employees' pensions, and cuts across the board to government departments. We can expect the government's Crown Assets Review to recommend the sale of billions in crown assets, further diminishing the financial status of the federal government.


RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

I'm starting to not even trust the NDP anymore.


Harper is now saying there will be no "new stimulus" money. 

Not entirely sure if that means the same level of cash outflow will happen in 2010 or not.  He does mention stubborn unemployment, so I imagine the gov will maintain a high level of extra-spending (pork) overall while booting around ideas like selling crown assets to help offset the costs incurred while fighting the recession.

The NDP and Bloc will vote against the budget, the Libs will vote for it.



That does mean no new stimulus spending. But goverment expenditures will still increase, while revenues still lag.

Even if they brought in tax increases, another couple years minimum of deficits is guaranteed. What they are denying- what the preformances capped with the tabling of the Budget is all about- is that deficits will never end without restoring revenue they took out with tax cuts.

So the narrative of the next couple months will remain of "these are challenging times that require a steady hand. You know who that is. Tax increases will not be required, because of trimming spending and economic growth."

And the ballot question: whether or not you like or approve of us, do you want us in charge, or the Three Stooges?

Here's the potential big flie in the ointment:


Flaherty's economic plan blasted
He can't balance books without raising taxes or slashing spending, economic experts warn



The country's budget watchdog and some of Canada's leading economists are contradicting Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, saying he cannot balance the books without raising taxes or slashing spending.

Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page warned Monday Canada could be headed back to the financial bad old days of the 1970s and 1980s when the country was crippled by public debt.

"We are going to have to take drastic measures, either spending reduction or tax increase, to get us back to balances," said Page, known for his outspoken assessment of government spending.

He said Ottawa doesn't appear to have any fiscal targets in mind "and that's not a good place to be."

Page will deliver a report Wednesday that will look at the next five years and spell out the magnitude of the "structural" deficit and - if not checked by spending reduction or tax increases - the potential negative impact on Canada's struggling economy.

A structural deficit is the result of a fundamental imbalance in government receipts and expenditures, as opposed to short-term factors such as cyclical downturns.

The Conservatives took billions of dollars out of government revenue by slashing two percentage points from the GST, effectively eliminating any budget cushion bequeathed it by the Liberals.

Despite how damaging this would seem to be for the Harper/Flaherty narrative, I think the most it will be undermined is that it takes Harper's hand away from the button for calling an election right after the Budget is tabled.

The minimum we can expect the narrative to achieve is that it will have successfully changed the channel completely. IE, even if they can't shout Page and other critics down and be in a position to call the election... the story will be on their ground, with the detainee scandal and prorogation of democracy sidelined. ... And the next round of whipping Ignatieff and cutting him down still further- set up for the election- will proceed anyway.

Sean in Ottawa

Maybe they will prepare two budgets-- one to present if the last poll is good and the other if it is bad.


Well you can count on regular Canadians not being in the budget as government gets ready to seriously cut services out of the equation.  As government incentives to help out its good buddies will leave Canadians in dire straights as all those recessionary measures were for not.  Expect the Canadian economy to drop flat on its face as Harper's solution for high unemployment is bringing in qualified people from other countries to buy those homes that are foreclosing because Canadians have lost their jobs and interest rates again begin to climb.  And it makes you wonder what Canadians are crying about as many say with their degrees they are lucky if they can find a job serving coffee and making $6.00 training wage in BC as Harper claims there is a real shortage of qualified people in Canada so Harper is beefing up immigarions and going to  bring in boatloads of qualified people.  What a way to burst a bubble. 

welder welder's picture

I think gov't employees are squarely in sights of Sweatervest Stevie....