Harper Government's Goal: Keep Taxes Low for Families, Workers and Job Creators

Harper Government's Goal: Keep Taxes Low for Families, Workers and Job Creators

In order to keep taxes low, the Harper Government is taking the following action for this fiscal year 2011-2012:

  1. wrapping up stimulus measures and
  2. avoiding reckless new spending commitments

The fiscal outcome of number 1 above is decreased funding needed to sustain the federal government. The 2011–12 Main Estimates are over $10 billion lower than the Main Estimates for last year.

And the fiscal responsibility of number 2 above is to keep taxes low for families, workers and job creators because “reckless new spending will lead to higher taxes that kill jobs and hurt families.”
Treasury Board of Canada
Secretariat

For immediate release

March 1, 2011

Harper Government Takes Action to Keep Taxes Low

Ottawa – The Honourable Stockwell Day, President of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, and the Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture), announced today that the Harper Government will continue its efforts to keep taxes low by wrapping up stimulus measures and avoiding reckless new spending commitments.

“We know that reckless new spending will lead to higher taxes that kill jobs and hurt families,” said Minister Day. “We will keep taxes low and ensure that Government spending is prudent and affordable.”

For the first time in over a decade, the funding needed to sustain the federal government has decreased. The 2011–12 Main Estimates are over $10 billion lower than the Main Estimates for last year, with a total of $250.8 billion in expenditures for operating and capital costs and transfer payments, as well as public debt charges. Also in these Main Estimates, program and operating votes have decreased by about $720 million or 1.5% compared to 2010–11 Main Estimates.

The Main Estimates, along with the Budget, reflect the Government’s annual budget planning and resource-allocation priorities for the fiscal year.

“Our Government’s top priority remains the economy,” said Minister Blackburn. “With the economic recovery still fragile, our Government is focused on creating jobs and economic growth by keeping taxes low for families and businesses.”

As a result of responsible decisions, the Harper Government will continue to keep taxes low for families, workers and job creators.

Please refer to the attached backgrounder for more details on the 2011–12 Main Estimates. The Main Estimates and related documents are posted on the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat website.

TTY (Telecommunications device for the hearing impaired) – (613) 957-9090

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Backgrounder

Main Estimates

The Main Estimates, along with the Budget, reflect the Government’s annual budget planning and resource-allocation priorities for the fiscal year.

They include two different types of expenditures: voted and statutory forecasts. Voted expenditures require annual approval from Parliament, which is sought through an appropriation bill. Main Estimates are used to support that request.

Forecasts of statutory expenditures represent payments to be made under legislation previously approved by Parliament. Statutory forecasts are included in Main Estimates for information purposes to provide a more complete picture of total estimated expenditures.

With the passing of the appropriation act, Government organizations receive the necessary funding to deliver programs and services to Canadians.

2011–12 Main Estimates

The 2011–12 Main Estimates includes details about $250.8 billion in planned budgetary expenditures for the fiscal year and $0.6 billion in net recoveries of loans and investments, as shown in Table 1.

The difference between the 2011–12 Main Estimates and the 2010–11 Main Estimates is primarily due to the winding-down of Economic Action Plan funding.

2011–12 Main Estimates reflect the operating budgets established in the 2010–11 Estimates, as was announced in Budget 2010: Leading the Way on Jobs and Growth.

Every year, the proximity of the tabling of the Budget and the Main Estimates means that new Budget initiatives and priorities are not reflected in the Main Estimates. Funding needed for new budget initiatives and priorities have to undergo approval processes through Cabinet committees and the Treasury Board before they can be presented to Parliament in the supplementary estimates over the fiscal year.

Expenditures included in the 2011–12 Main Estimates are in line with decisions from Budget 2010 and previous budgets.

Table 1: 2011–12 Main Estimates
($ billions) Budgetary Non-Budgetary
Voted 91.8 0.1
Statutory 159.0 (0.7)
Total Main Estimates 250.8 (0.6)

Budgetary expenditures include the cost of servicing the public debt; operating and capital expenditures; grants and contributions; and payments to Crown corporations.

Budgetary expenditures amount to $250.8 billion and include both voted and statutory expenditures:

  • Voted expenditures represent the amount for which the Government must request Parliament’s approval. Through Main Estimates 2011–12, the Government is seeking Parliament’s authority to spend $91.8 billion for programs.
  • Statutory expenditures are expenditures that are required in legislation that has been approved by Parliament. A total of $159.0 billion is included in statutory expenditures of the 2011–12 Main Estimates for information purposes only.

Non-budgetary expenditures (loans, investments and advances) represent changes in the composition of the financial assets of the Government of Canada. Non-budgetary main estimates include voted and statutory expenditures. A negative number indicates that recoveries of loans, investments and advances will exceed outlays. This year, recoveries will exceed outlays for new loans, investments and advances by $0.6 billion.

The Estimates Process

The Budget identifies the broad spending priorities of the Government and details how the Government plans to collect and invest taxpayers’ money.

The Government seeks parliamentary approval for annual expenditures through the Estimates. The Estimates (Main Estimates and Supplementary Estimates A, B and C) provide information on the planned spending levels for each department and agency.

The Budget and the Estimates, in conjunction with the Economic and Fiscal Update, reflect the Government’s annual resource planning and allocation priorities.

The subsequent reporting of financial results in the Public Accounts of Canada helps Parliament and Canadians hold the Government of Canada to account for the allocation and management of tax dollars.

For more information on the reporting cycle, please visit the Tools and Resources site.

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