Some highlights from Tuesday’s economic statement, delivered in the House of Commons by federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau:
- The deficit for 2016-17 is expected to be $25.1 billion, but that does not include a rainy day contingency fund. In last spring’s budget, the government projected a $29.4-billion deficit, but that number included a $6-billion reserve.
- The deficit is gradually expected to shrink over the coming five years to $14.6 billion in 2021-2022, not including any provisions set aside for a rainy day. There is no projection to balance the budget.
- Over five years, the government will add a total of $31.8 billion more to deficits than was expected in the last budget, mostly because of changes to expectations for the economy.
- The debt burden — the size of the federal debt as a percentage of gross domestic product — will slowly slide to 30.4 per cent in 2021-22 from 31.8 per cent in 2016-17.
- The government will set up a Canada Infrastructure Bank with seed capital of $35 billion. Of that, $15 billion will be taken from the $60 billion in existing funds set aside for infrastructure and another $20 billion will be financed and booked as equity or debt so as not to affect the government’s bottom line.
- The government will adopt a global skills strategy that will speed up work permits and visas for foreign workers.
- The government will create a new Invest in Canada Hub to attract foreign investment. It will also relax foreign investment restrictions somewhat — revising national security rules and moving the threshold for reviewing foreign takeovers to $1 billion starting in 2017, two years ahead of schedule.
- The parliamentary budget officer will become accountable only to Parliament, with all the privileges that entails, rather than the Library of Parliament.
- The chief statistician will be granted more independence.
- The House of Commons’ board of internal economy, which adjudicates disputes, sets office budgets and polices the expenses of MPs, will conduct its business publicly for the first time.
Article source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/fall-economic-statement-highlights-1.3831617?cmp=rss