Quebec auditor general tables report on PQ economy

Quebec's interim auditor general believes the provincial government is being very optimistic if it thinks it can post a balanced budget within a few years.

Michel Samson says government's timetable to balance the budget 'optimistic'

Quebec's Auditor General Michel Samson will unveil his report Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014 at the legislature in Quebec City. (Jacques Boissinot/CP)

Quebec's interim auditor general believes the provincial government is being very optimistic if it thinks it can post a balanced budget within a few years.

Michel Samson issued a report this morning on an economic update brought down last November by Finance Minister Nicolas Marceau.

Marceau's forecast called for deficits this year and next, but a balanced budget in 2015-2016.

Samson is not saying Marceau's objective is impossible to achieve, but he believes it is certainly ambitious.

His comments come a day before Marceau delivers the 2014-15 budget, which is expected to include a deficit of $1.7 billion.

Samson notes that Marceau has ruled out tax hikes and that the finance minister has provided for increases of only two per cent in government spending in 2014-2015 and 2015-2016.