Oliver's first budget will benefit from surplus, just in time for election
Federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver arrives for the announcement of a renewed Federal Gas Tax fund at a TTC transit yard in Toronto on Friday, July 11, 2014. (Chris Young / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Published Tuesday, August 12, 2014 12:34PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, August 12, 2014 9:13PM EDT
Finance Minister Joe Oliver hinted Tuesday at what Canadians can expect in next year’s budget. It will be his first, but the Harper Government’s last, before calling an election.
Here are a few likely goodies:
- A mix of tax cuts and new spending across the country. Infrastructure projects anyone?
- Don’t expect too much spending. Oliver warns the surpluses will be relatively small.
- Plans to reduce Canada’s ballooning $627 Billion debt (and growing by the second).
- New programs designed to boost job creation.
Oliver forecasts a $6-billion surplus in 2015 -- perfectly timed with an election year and for Conservative MPs to make splashy new spending promises to court voters.
Coming up with ideas to spend the extra cash is a stark departure for the Conservatives after eight years of focusing on spending cuts and austerity.
“We’re not in a position where we have to take draconian steps,” Oliver said, but cautioned any spending must be “prudent” that helps boost job creation.
Oliver made the remarks after an annual retreat in Wakefield, Que. Sixteen guests were invited to share ideas ahead of the 2015 budget.
The retreat was an annual tradition under former finance minister Jim Flaherty, who died in April.