Alright, so the lockup is done and the details are flowing.
The CBC has an excellent feature site on the 2005 Federal Budget:
- Surplus: $5.9 billion
- Military: $12.3 billion boost over 5 years. Largest in 20 years. 5000 more regulars, 3000 more reserves, 3.2 billion to cover supplies, repair infrastructure, training… I’m under the impression the rest (about 6 billion over 5 years) goes to Capital spending.
- Daycare: $700 million trust fund for this year. $5 billion over five years.
- Taxes: Minimum earnings raised to $10,000 by 2009. RRSP and Foreign content improvements. Lower Corporate Taxes by 2% by 2010 and eliminate Corporate Surtax by 2008.
- The Liberals present the 2005 budget as a balanced one, but built into it is something they call an underlying surplus – made up of a $3-billion contingency fund and $1 billion for “economic prudence.” If this $4 billion remains unspent, it automatically goes toward paying down the national debt, which stands at just over $501 billion.
Environment: $1 billion “Clean Fund” for project battling climate change/Kyoto.
I’ll fill in more as I hear more details.
- $400 decrease in taxes for middle class families over five years
- $5 billion to cut greenhouse gases and protect environment
- $5 billion in gas tax revenues to cities/municipalities
- $3.4 billion more foreign aid
- Total government spending for fiscal 2004-05 is projected to be $192.8 billion, up 8.8 per cent from $177.1 billion the year before. The federal surplus is estimated at $8.9 billion, some of which will go to help pay down the national debt to $499 billion.
Canada.com is reporting that most of the spending is weighted on the back end, fourth and fifth years of the budget.
This is unusual for recent Canadian budgets, and something I’m not terribly thrilled with. I like my government to be held accountable *within its’ current term*. This strategy is a little too reminiscent of the recent US budget that relies so much on the last year of hte presidency, except this is even more the case in Canada because of the volatility of the current Minority government. History has shown that minority governments last only up to about 2 years.
One economist seems OK with it though:
The business community likes the certainty that comes with five-year plans, said Craig Wright, chief economist with Royal Bank in Toronto.
“In terms of delivering on their commitments, he (Goodale) did that and then some,” said Wright, who found quite a few surprises in the number of tax and spending pledges.
You can take a look at the Budget yourself on the Budget 2005 Website