MP concerned about federal budget increasing Canada's debt

Canada's rising debt level

The Trudeau Liberal government introduced its 2024 budget Tuesday, referred to as "Fairness for Every Generation".

This budget proposes a total federal government expenditure of $535 billion for the 2024-25 fiscal year.

Before proceeding, it's important to provide context for this level of spending. In 2022, following the pandemic, the government introduced a budget termed "Return to Fiscal Responsibility."

According to the government, “fiscal responsibility" in the 2022 budget proposed total federal spending of $434 billion. That amount represented a $90 billion increase over the pre-pandemic 2019-2020 fiscal year, which had a budget of $338 billion.

The new budget for the 2024-2025 fiscal year is $100 billion higher than what the government labeled as its "Return to Fiscal Responsibility” budget for the 2022-2023 fiscal year.

In addition to spending, debt is another concern. The 2024 budget proposes a $40 billion deficit for this fiscal year alone. That is noteworthy because (the government’s) original debt forecasts were $35.0 billion for 2024-25 and $26.8 billion for 2025-26.

In the Liberals' "mini-budget" last fall, their fiscal update increased the projected deficits for 2024-25 and 2025-26 to $38.4 billion and $38.3 billion, respectively.

Why is this new debt significant? Given current interest rates, the cost of servicing the national debt has now exceeded federal spending on health care.

In total, the new budget proposes an additional expenditure of $50 billion over the next five years, compared to previous forecasts. The new spending measures include $8.5 billion for housing, a $6 billion Canada Disability Benefit, a $1 billion national school food program and a $500 million fund for youth mental health.

The Liberals propose to raise capital gain taxes, along with taxes on cigarettes and vaping products and estimate that those tax hikes will yield $19 billion in new revenue.

They have proposed reducing the federal public service by 5,000 positions over the next four years.

Regarding debt, one media organization reported, "Deficits eventually roll over into long-term debt. The cost to finance Canada's growing debt pile—which has more than doubled over the last nine years to $1.4 trillion—is consuming an increasing amount of taxpayer dollars as the government is compelled to refinance its borrowing at higher rates."

In response to the 2024 budget, Scotiabank commented on the skyrocketing debt charges, stating, "Trudeau and (Finance Minister Chrystia) Freeland are burdening Canada’s youth who will inevitably bear these bills for many years. Portraying such a budget as beneficial to the youth, who have largely distanced themselves from the Liberals, is misleading."

My question for you this week is:

Do you think the 2024 Liberal budget promotes "fairness for every generation"? Why or why not?

You can reach me at [email protected] or call toll-free at 1-800-665-8711.

Dan Albas is the Conservative MOP for CentralOkanagan-Similkameen-Nicola.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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About the Author

Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola and the co-chair of the Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations.

Before entering public life, Dan was the owner of Kick City Martial Arts, responsible for training hundreds of men, women and youth to bring out their best.

Dan  is consistently recognized as one of Canada’s top 10 most active Members of Parliament on Twitter (@danalbas) and also continues to write a weekly column published in many local newspapers and on this website.

Dan welcomes comments, questions and concerns from citizens and is often available to speak to groups and organizations on matters of federal concern. 

He can be reached at [email protected] or call toll free at 1-800-665-8711.

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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