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Chapter 4: Plan to Return to Budget Balance and Fiscal Outlook


  • Despite continued uncertainty in the global economy, the Government is on track to return to balanced budgets by 2015-16.
  • Measures initiated in previous budgets have been focused on restraining direct program spending by federal departments while ensuring continued growth in funding for the programs and services that are a priority for Canadians, including transfers in support of important health and social programs.
  • Economic Action Plan 2013 furthers the Governments commitment to control direct program spending with common sense proposals to make government more efficient and productive, including:
    • Expanding the use of telepresence technologies to help facilitate a reduction in travel expenses across government.
    • Standardizing information technology by consolidating the procurement of end-user devices and moving to a single platform for email systems.
    • Modernizing the production and distribution of government publications by shifting to electronic publishing and making print publications the exception.
    • Implementing targeted savings in the operations of the Canada Revenue Agency and Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
  • Economic Action Plan 2013 confirms the Governments intention to work with bargaining agents to further align overall compensation with other public and private sector employers.
  • The Government is introducing a number of measures to close tax loopholes and improve the fairness of the Canadian tax system in order to keep tax rates low.
  • In addition, the Canada Revenue Agency will implement changes to its compliance programs to improve identification of tax evasion and to ensure that the honest and principled Canadians who pay their fair share of tax do not face a higher tax burden as a result of the actions of a few.
  • Actions in Economic Action Plan 2013 to return to budgetary balance will produce an additional $500 million in savings in 2013-14, rising to $2.3 billion in 2017-18 for a total of $8.4 billion over the next five years.
  • These savings build on previous actions taken to return to budgetary balance. In total, since Budget 2010, the Government has announced savings that will reduce the deficit by more than $15 billion in 2014-15 and beyond, for a total of more than $84 billion in savings over the 2010-11 to 2017-18 period. These actions have prevented a significant accumulation of debt and future costs for taxpayers.
  • The deficit is projected to decline in every year until a surplus of $0.8 billion is reached in 2015-16. A surplus of $5.1 billion is projected for 2017-18.
  • As a result of these actions, Canadas fiscal position continues to be significantly stronger than most other advanced economies, with Canada expected to maintain by far the lowest net debt burden among Group of Seven (G-7) countries.