One of the most important and critical elements of our Conservative Governments’ 2013 Budget is the commitment to balance the books by 2015. Just like one’s personal or family finances, our country has to be prudent when it comes to income and expenses. You can’t continue to spend more than you earn.
After being elected to form government in 2006, we set out to pay down our debt. Between 2006 and the beginning of the recession in 2008, we reduced our country’s overall debt by $37 million. In August of 2008 our national debt was at its lowest level in 25 years. When the recession hit during the summer of 2008, Canada was in a much better position than any other G7 country to deal with the worst global recession in over 70 years.
When the recession hit we made a deliberate decision to go into a temporary deficit to protect our economy and jobs. While other countries are struggling with out of control debt, Canada is in the best financial position of all G-7 countries. Our net debt to GDP ratio is 35.8 % – the lowest amongst the G-7. Germany is second at 58.4% and the average amongst the G-7 is 80.4%.
Our plan to get back to balanced budgets is working. We have reduced the deficit by over 50% in the past 2 years. Budget 2013 will build on the success we’ve had over the last two years. To reduce overall debt, our Government announced $1.7 billion in savings with Budget 2013. We will do this by examining departmental spending to ensure that government operations are managed as efficiently as possible.
We will also reduce travel expenses through the use of technology for remote meeting solutions like telepresence and video conferencing. Further, we will standardize government technology systems to reduce duplication, increase efficiency and save money. Tax loopholes will also be closed, ensuring everyone pays their fair share and taxes remain low and competitive. These actions should ensure that the deficit is in fact eliminated by 2015.
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