MP Report: Budget 2024 is More Debt and More Deficits for Canadians

With the Liberal government's ninth budget just tabled, I was cautiously optimistic that we might see a change of direction to address inflationary food costs, high-interest rates impacting mortgage renewals and first time home buyers trying to get into the market, and our ever growing national debt.

Conservative MPs asked for a budget that would axe the tax on farmers and food, build more homes instead of bureaucracy, and cap spending with a dollar-for-dollar rule to bring down interest rates and inflation. Ottawa should be finding a dollar in savings for every new dollar of spending it wants to enact.

Unfortunately, the Liberal government recommitted itself to the same inflationary deficits that have pushed Canadians into a cost-of-living crisis.

In her budget speech, the Minister of Finance talked about not passing ballooning debt on to our children.

But that is exactly what this budget does.

Budget 2024 forecasts that the federal debt will rise to $1.2 trillion this year, and the interest we'll pay in servicing that debt will increase to $54 billion this fiscal year.

The budget also shows that last year the government raised $51 billion in revenue from GST. As a comparison, this means that every cent of GST that every Canadian, business, or not for profit may pay on products or services they buy won't go towards a single government service or program. Instead, it will be used solely to pay the interest on the government's credit card.

As another comparison, $54 billion is more than the federal government intends to spend on healthcare transfers to provinces this fiscal year.

There is widespread backlash by local residents and national groups representing persons living with disabilities with the government's proposal in Budget 2024 for the Canada Disability Benefit which won’t be implemented until well into 2025, leaving more questions than answers. Many persons with disabilities are already among the hardest hit by this cost-of-living crisis. There have been five years of Liberal Minister photo ops and announcements and people are tired of all the broken promises on this.

The Liberal government 2024 Budget’s title is “Fairness for Every Generation.” Skyrocketing federal debt will consume more and more of our tax dollars while potentially putting future social, environmental, or security initiatives at risk. I would argue this isn't worth the cost to any generation and certainly isn’t fair to young adults and kids who will bear the brunt of paying the debt down.  

This unwavering commitment to higher debt and higher deficits has characterized the Liberal government's last nine years.

Also, over the last nine years we’ve seen doubling of rent, mortgage payments and down payments. We have seen a record two million visits to food banks in a single month. This is not coincidental and is in fact the consequence of hundreds of billions of dollars in federal deficits driving up costs. 

That's what both the Bank of Canada and former Liberal Finance Minister John Manley confirmed when they said the federal Liberal government's deficit spending was pressing on the inflationary gas pedal, forcing the Bank of Canada to balloon interest rates as a brake.

New program spending outlined in Budget 2024 won't meaningfully impact consumers' costs if inflation is not brought under control, therefore lowering interest rates and if the government continues to increase taxes, which they are. Rising food and gas prices and rising unemployment are also predicted to rise through 2024.  

This is why David Dodge, the former Liberal-appointed Governor of the Bank of Canada, said that this budget is the worst budget he's seen since 1982.

These are just some of the reasons myself and my Conservative colleagues will be voting against the Liberal government's ninth debt and deficit-fueled budget.

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