Getting Ottawa into the Black: Federal Shadow Budget Lays a Prudent Path Forward - C.D. Howe Institute

TORONTO, April 14, 2015 /CNW/ - Confronting economic challenges from abroad will require a sound fiscal framework, economic policies that promote growth, and measures to create opportunities for Canadians, according to the C.D. Howe Institute's 2015 shadow federal budget. In "Challenges, Growth and Opportunity: A Shadow Federal Budget for 2015," authors William B.P. Robson and Alexandre Laurin outline measures that would help Canadians put their education, skills and talents to work, and enjoy economic security once they have left the workforce.

"Although federal fiscal policy cannot prevent events abroad that might affect Canada's financial markets and economy in 2015 and beyond, it can help Canadians adapt when necessary and pursue their livelihoods whatever the international environment," states Robson. Laurin adds that "this Shadow Budget ensures a sound fiscal framework at the federal level, bolstering confidence in the sustainability of Canada's public finances."

Robson and Laurin's Shadow Budget hones in on three critical needs:  

  1. Financial and Fiscal Sustainability: The C.D. Howe Institute's 2015 Shadow Budget lays out a prudent fiscal course, including measures to improve the transparency of federal finances and facilitate more forward-looking fiscal policy. It proposes better control of Ottawa's operating costs, and more transparent reporting of federal employee pension obligations.   
  2. Encouraging Growth: The Shadow Budget would support work, investment in human capital and innovation. For example, it proposes tax reforms to encourage business investment, particularly in intellectual property. It would devote fresh infrastructure spending to areas where the national interest makes federal involvement uniquely appropriate. Auctioning airport leases, starting with Vancouver and Calgary, could yield $2.8 billion in 2015/16 and $1.1 billion in 2016/17, while reducing the cost of travel for Canadians.
  3. Promoting Individual Opportunities: The Shadow Budget takes several steps to improve well-being and fulfillment of Canadians. It proposes new investments in education across Canada, including for First Nations. It would also improve the environment for group RRSPs, and eliminate mandatory drawdowns of assets by retirees.

This year's Shadow Budget confronts the fiscal challenges ahead, promotes growth, and ensures better opportunities for Canadians. Its plan will be cost effective, leaving the budget in balance with up to $6 billion set aside for fiscal prudence that could, if not needed, be used to pay down the debt. "Whatever the world brings in 2015 and beyond, this Shadow Budget will help protect Canadians and equip them to thrive," conclude the authors.

The C. D. Howe Institute is an independent not-for-profit research institute whose mission is to raise living standards by fostering economically sound public policies. It is Canada's trusted source of essential policy intelligence, distinguished by research that is nonpartisan, evidence-based and subject to definitive expert review. It is considered by many to be Canada's most influential think tank.

For the report go to: http://www.cdhowe.org/challenges-growth-and-opportunity-a-shadow-federal-budget-for-2015/29241

SOURCE C.D. Howe Institute

For further information: William B.P. Robson, President and CEO of the C.D. Howe Institute; Alexandre Laurin, Director of Research, C.D. Howe Institute; or Finn Poschmann, VP Policy Analysis at the C.D. Howe Institute, at 416-865-1904; E-mail: amcbrien@cdhowe.org.

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