Alberta’s economy is still on shaky ground as oil prices remain depressed relative to last year’s levels.
Therell be no doubt that were balanced in 2015, federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty told reporters after recently meeting with a group of private sector economists. This is among Mr. Flahertys most categorical statements to date on his plan to achieve a balanced budget in 2015-16. But in light of recent economic forecasts and potential threats to the governments revenue projections, he would be well-advised to focus on further spending restraint something he can fully control in order to deliver on his promise.
Fiscal policy is really about taxes and spending and the federal government recently provided some hints on its plans in these areas.
In the recent Speech from the Throne, the government reaffirmed its commitment to balancing the budget by 2015-16 and providing "greater tax relief for Canadian families" after the budget is balanced. But what form this tax relief may take remains a mystery.
In the recent Speech from the Throne, the federal government announced a variety of initiatives but the one that drew much attention was its ostensible consumer-friendly tack.
On some consumer issues, the Conservative government has the right instincts, promoting competition within the cellphone sector for example, even if its approach to the upcoming wireless spectrum auction is flawed.
In other places, the Harper governments predisposition is counter-productive.
For instance, ponder the federal governments desire to micromanage how airlines double-book seats.