Budget presented again


Just two months after the Canadian Conservatives were forced to call a general election as their budget fell in a divided house, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty presented the same budget, with some small changes, again yesterday.

The major difference is that this time the Conservatives are no longer a minority government, but have the majority to pass the budget by themselves.

The budget was pretty much the same as the March offering with some revised economic forecasts. One area of political controversy is the phasing out of state subsidies for political parties. This is expected to hurt the Liberals in particular after their worst ever defeat in the general election.

Meanwhile Flaherty laid out his commitment to making $4 billion cuts over the next four years in order to eliminate the current budget deficit. However, he was criticised by the new opposition leader, Jack Layton of the New Democratic Party (NDP) for not spelling out where those cuts were going to fall. All that is known is that they will come from federal spending programmes and public sector payroll cuts.

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