Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Today in Deficit Jim can't count: deficit to be bigger than predicted

It's just-how-big-is-that-deficit-anyway day:
Flaherty has already acknowledged the update will reveal the deficit for the past fiscal year (2009-10) was worse than the $53.8 billion deficit he predicted in March. He has been sitting on the actual number, waiting to package it with other information in his update presentation.

Also, the update will include a revised budgetary estimate for the current fiscal year (2010-11). Indications are Flaherty will forecast a slightly better outcome than the $50 billion deficit predicted in the March budget.

But the combined budget deficits over the 2009-2011 period are expected to total more than $100 billion.
Pretty big numbers. Nevertheless, Flaherty is promising some kind of "medium term" commitment to balancing the budget, 2014-15 "or so." Sounds like the "so" waffle could be kind of important and a bit further off. Something to watch for today.

Also to be noted and likely to be an issue, even with that massive deficit on the table, there's always room for corporate tax cuts:
...despite facing budget deficits totalling $144 billion by 2014, the Conservatives are still phasing in $47 billion worth of extra corporate tax cuts over several years.
By the way, in keeping with the ongoing ethos of Conservative respect for and deference to Parliament, this fall fiscal update will be delivered...at the Mississauga Convention Centre. At least there are no trains this year. Tough times and all.