Singh can't say when an NDP government would balance the budget
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, surrounded by fellow party-members, speaks to the media following a speech at the Ontario NDP Convention in Hamilton, Ont., Sunday, June 16, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tara Walton
Published Saturday, June 22, 2019 7:00AM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, June 22, 2019 9:30AM EDT
OTTAWA –Leader Jagmeet Singh can’t say when a New Democrat government would balance the budget.
In an interview on CTV’s Question Period Singh vowed to be responsible with the budget if elected, but stated his intention is to follow through on the still-growing list of progressive promises he’s making.
“Our principal is going to be this: We’re not going to run deficits to fund tax cuts, we’re going to make sure that Canadians get the services that they need… We believe in being responsible with our precious taxpayer dollars and we believe in investing those dollars into services that Canadians need… We’re not afraid to make those investments,” Singh said.
Last weekend Singh unveiled “A New Deal for People,” which includes a promise to increase taxes on Canadians who have a net worth of $20 million or more by one percent. He projects that will raise billions in revenue, but also promises to restore door-to-door mail delivery which would cost $100 million, and launch by 2020 a pharmacare plan that would cost $10 billion annually.
During the last federal election the Liberals pledged not to run deficits over $10 billion and said they would return to a balance by 2019, a promise now not on the fiscal horizon for at least the next four years, according to the 2019 budget. The most the government is projecting the deficit to drop is $10 billion by 2023-24. In that year, the deficit is projected at $9.8 billion.
In the 2015 federal election campaign, previous NDP leader Tom Mulcair campaigned on a promise to not run deficits in order to finance the party’s slate of promises. He said his first budget would be balanced.
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer vowed in May that it would take a Conservative government five years to balance the books.
Singh also couldn’t say how much his “head-to-toe” health care promises—including dental, hearing and eye care— would cost, vowing to have more details during the election campaign and once the Parliamentary Budget Officer costs the NDP’s platform.
CTV's Question Period airs on CTV News’ Facebook page, CTV News Channel and CTV on Sunday at 11 a.m. ET.