Fall 2023 economic statement fails to provide relief for Canadians, say critics
Fall 2023 economic statement fails to provide relief for Canadians, say critics

Taxpayers will continue to have to foot the bill when it comes to massive increases in federal spending, even as the government charts its course forward with the newly released Fall Economic Statement.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) issued a press release in response to the 2023 Fall Economic Statement released by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland on Tuesday. 

According to CTF’s Federal Director, Franco Terrazzano, the update provides little relief as the deficit continues to grow.

The fiscal update indicates government spending will reach $488.7 billion this year, a notable increase from last year’s $473.5 billion. This escalation in expenditure coincides with the deficit rising from $35 billion to $40 billion.

The top three expense areas of the $488.7 billion encompass the large majority of all expenses. Firstly, a substantial $210.1 billion is allocated to direct program expenses, encompassing the operational costs of government departments and various transfer payments.

In second place, major transfers to persons, including elderly benefits, employment insurance, and the Canada Child Benefit, account for $120.6 billion.

The third highest expense in the economic statement is the $100.3 billion directed towards transfers to other orders of government, such as provincial and territorial governments for health, social services, and other regional programs. 

“This is the first time this government is starting to recognize reality, but spending is still billions higher than last year, and the deficit is bigger,” said Terrazzano.

According to Terrazzano, pressure is mounting on taxpayers, with interest charges on the national debt costing nearly $4 billion a month.

“Taxpayers are losing out on almost $4 billion every month that can’t be used to improve services or lower taxes because that money is going to the bond fund managers just to cover the government’s debt interest charges,” he told True North. 

Terrazzano explained that the charges on the government credit card will cost each Canadian an average of more than $1,000 this year. 

The fiscal update also shows the national debt is projected to grow to $1.2 trillion by the end of 2023, with interest on the debt expected to cost $46.5 billion. 

Despite these figures, the update did not include any substantial tax relief measures, prompting Terrazzano to criticize Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for not providing real tax savings for Canadians.

“Trudeau won’t even do the simple things to save taxpayers money like ending his undemocratic alcohol tax escalator or taking the carbon tax off everyone’s home heating bills,” said Terrazzano. 

Terrazzano concluded, “The budget update is an admission that the government has a spending problem, but Trudeau still isn’t serious about managing our finances or providing real tax relief.” 

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