Quebec finds additional $600M in cost-cutting on road to balanced budget
Finance Minister Carlos Leitao says tax credits for banks, unions and insurance companies will be reduced
Quebec is imposing an additional $600 million in tax increases and other revenue-generating measures in its zero-deficit drive.
Finance Minister Carlos Leitao is hoping to balance the province's balance sheet by fiscal 2015-16.
Leitao issued an economic update in Quebec City on Tuesday and said his government hopes to save $338 million in tax credits that were destined for banks, insurance companies and research centres.
A tax credit on union dues will also be reduced, bringing in an additional $112 million to government coffers.
Vehicle registration fees will increase, as will payroll taxes for financial institutions.
Leitao also warned the government has only reached 85 per cent of its cost-cutting goal and that he must find another $1.1 billion in savings before the 2015-16 budget is tabled this coming spring.
Last spring, Philippe Couillard's Liberals said that without a strict cost-cutting plan, Quebec's deficit would have reached $7.3 billion by 2015-16.
Leitao said government revenue is rising faster than spending for the first time in three years.
"We pledged to reduce the weight of spending in the economy to a tolerable level for taxpayers," Leitao said.
"And we are taking the action necessary to do so."
The action the government has taken so far has not gone down well with everyone, particularly unions and other groups feeling the brunt of the cuts.
Quebec has been beset recently by street protests, with demonstrators demanding the government reverse its cost-cutting measures.