Liberals back away from promise to keep annual deficits under $10B
Finance Minister Bill Morneau to focus on infrastructure spending, lowering debt-to-GDP ratio instead
Canada's finance minister is highlighting three economic priorities for the new government — but the Liberal campaign vow to keep annual deficits capped at $10 billion is apparently no longer among them.
Bill Morneau says the government will focus on its election pledges to invest in infrastructure, lower the federal debt-to-GDP ratio and balance the books in the fourth year of their mandate.
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But Morneau avoided the question when asked about the Liberal promise to keep shortfalls under $10 billion per year.
The finance minister's remarks come a day after the parliamentary budget office warned the government was on track to run annual deficits that would likely be billions of dollars higher than expected.
Morneau himself recently released a fall fiscal update that said the state of the federal books had deteriorated due to declining economic conditions connected to global uncertainty and low commodity prices.
During the campaign, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau vowed to keep annual expected deficits under $10 billion in 2016-17 and 2017-18 unless the economic situation got "radically worse."