Monday, July 06, 2009

Today in "Deficit Jim can't count"

"Federal deficits to total $156 billion, job losses to mount: budget officer." Really? Now that sounds like something my government hasn't told me! So let's see what we have here from the Parliamentary Budget Officer, whose budget has thankfully (but not perfectly) been saved by the parliamentary library committee in an ongoing saga...seems the Conservative number crunching is...what's this? A tad off:
The recession will sink the federal government into a $155.9-billion hole over the next five years and cost hundreds of thousands of Canadians their jobs, the parliamentary budget officer predicts.

In a report to be released Wednesday, budget officer Kevin Page calculates that even in the year 2013-14, when Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says Canada will return to surplus, Ottawa will still have a $16.7-billion deficit.

The projections are close to double the accumulated $84.9-billion deficit over five years estimated by the January budget.
Double. Enough said.

Major discrepancies in the job numbers that are projected by the government too.
According to sources, the budget officer predicts between 190,000 and 270,000 fewer Canadian jobs this year than estimated in the budget.

For next year, the discrepancy rises to between 200,000 and 500,000 fewer jobs, and even in the years 2011-2014 - when the recession is expected to be a painful memory - there are expected to be between 100,000 and 380,000 fewer Canadian jobs each year than the government assumes.
TD Bank has made similar projections to the budget officer on the deficit, as the report notes.

What's the plan Deficit Jim? All he's indicated is "...that the government is "committed to return to surplus in future years." Or should we even bother asking given the track record?