PBO projects $10-billion structural deficit

Parliamentary Budget Office cites demographic changes as budgetary drains

The Parliamentary Budget Office projects that Canada will have a structural deficit of about $10-billion by 2015, the same year the government’s expects to have balanced the budget. In order to avoid significant debt accumulation, Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page says Canada will need to implement sustained measures that also take into account an aging population and stagnant growth. While the projected deficit has fallen from $56 billion in the 2009-2010 fiscal year to $45 billion in 2011-2012, Page says any reduction in the deficit is a result of “cyclical improvement,” meaning a structural deficit exists even when the economy is in a period of growth. The federal Conservatives have projected a $2.6-billion surplus in 2015-2016.

Montreal Gazette

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