Despite the unprecedented increase in COVID-related government spending, current government finances are estimated to be sustainable in the long run. What happens if there is a moderate increase in interest rates or the government introduces a new program that rises spending significantly on a permanent basis?
Budgeting is about more than dollars, but about trade-offs. How money is allocated, the value citizens get for the spending, and the long-term sustainability of public finances are crucial considerations. How does Canada’s system compare to those of its international peers? The International Budget Partnership’s Open Budget Survey offers some perspective on transparency, legislative, and audit oversight.
In the 2019 federal election, between the two front running parties, there seems to be battle lines drawn between the party of fiscal responsibility and the party of policy leadership. We are led to believe that these choices are mutually exclusive. Both the Conservatives and the Liberals are to blame for this confusion. The blame can be shared by the rest of us who have failed to explain the nuances of a well performing government budgetary system. We have attempted to assess the party platforms for fiscal credibility but feel that we should now put these in some context.
IFSD finds that that the NDP Party Platform Costing merits an overall ‘pass’ rating including a ‘pass’ rating on the principles related to realistic economic and fiscal assumptions and responsible fiscal management; and a ‘fail’ rating with respect to transparency.
IFSD finds that that the Conservative Party Platform Costing merits an overall ‘pass’ rating, including a ‘pass’ rating on the principles related to realistic economic and fiscal assumptions and transparency; and a ‘good’ rating with respect to responsible fiscal management.
IFSD finds that the Bloc Québécois’ Platform 2019 Costing fails overall with respect to realistic economic and fiscal assumptions, responsible fiscal management and transparency.
The Green Party of Canada released a revised Platform 2019 Costing document on October 2, 2019. This document followed the initial release of a costing document on September 25, 2019 and a policy commitments document (Election Platform 2019 - Honest, Caring, Ethical Leadership) on September 15, 2019.
The Liberal Party Platform Costing merits an overall ‘good’ rating with a ‘pass’ on realistic economic and fiscal assumptions and a rating of ‘good’ with respect to the principles of responsible fiscal management and transparency.
The Green Party of Canada’s Platform Costing presents ambitious policy commitments without requisite economic and fiscal planning and transparency.
In October 2019, Canadians will go the polls to elect a new federal parliament. Political parties are busy preparing campaign strategies and plans, including policy platforms. Policy platforms have been an important staple of federal elections campaigns in Canada over the past three decades. For the 2019 federal election campaign, IFSD plans to assess the fiscal credibility of the election platforms of the major political parties. The purpose of this note is to outline, in advance, the principles and criteria that will be used to assess and score the platforms. As with government agendas after an election, there should be no surprises.