The federal budget released on March 28 has shown that hopes for spending restraint were in vain, as evidenced by the enthusiastic support expressed by NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh for Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s third budget. Although the Liberal government talks about responsible spending, it fails to curb its spending during budget time. The budget deficit projected last fall was $30.6 billion, which has now expanded to $40.1 billion, mainly due to spending increases. The budget includes tax hikes such as an increase in the alternative minimum tax targeting the wealthy and taxation on stock buybacks and financial institution dividends. The government expects to find savings of nearly $4 billion in 2023, but it is unclear how this will happen. The budget focuses on providing relief to Canadians from inflation, mainly through a one-time increase in GST rebates for low-income citizens. It also includes a $13 billion national dental plan for families earning less than $90,000 a year. The government’s overspending and unsustainable debt trajectory have raised concerns on Canada’s economic future. The budget appears more like an NDP proposal aimed at buying their support rather than a Liberal one. While the government seems to be kicking tough choices down the road, Canadians cannot afford more NDP budgets.
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