Youth buried by federal budget

The Trudeau Liberal government introduced its 2024 Budget, referred to as “Fairness for Every Generation”.

This budget proposes a total federal government expenditure of $535 billion for the 2024-25 fiscal year.

Before proceeding, it’s important to provide context for this level of spending. In 2022, following the pandemic, the government introduced a budget termed the “Return to Fiscal Responsibility.”

According to the Trudeau Liberal Government, “Fiscal Responsibility” in the 2022 budget proposed a total federal government spending of $434 billion. This amount represented a $90 billion increase over the pre-pandemic 2019-2020 fiscal year, which had a budget of $338 billion.

In summary, the new Liberal budget for the 2024-2025 fiscal year is $100 billion higher than what they labeled as the “Return to Fiscal Responsibility Budget” for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. This was already a $90 billion increase from the Liberals’ pre-pandemic budget.

In addition to spending, debt is another concern. The 2024 “Fairness for Every Generation” budget proposes a $40 billion deficit for this fiscal year alone. This is noteworthy because Trudeau’s original debt forecasts were $35.0 billion for 2024-25 and $26.8 billion for 2025-26.

In the Liberals’ “mini-budget” last fall, their fiscal update increased the projected deficits for 2024-25 and 2025-26 to $38.4 billion and $38.3 billion, respectively.

Why is this new debt significant?

Given the current interest rates, the cost of servicing the national debt has now exceeded federal spending on health care.

In total, this budget proposes an additional expenditure of $50 billion over the next five years, compared to previous forecasts.

The new spending measures include $8.5 billion for housing, a $6 billion Canada Disability Benefit, a $1 billion national school food program, and a $500 million fund for youth mental health.

The Trudeau Liberals propose to raise capital gain taxes, along with taxes on cigarettes and vaping products. The Liberals estimate that these tax hikes will yield $19 billion in new revenue.

The Liberals have proposed reducing the federal public service size by 5,000 positions over the next four years.

Regarding debt, a media organization reported, “Deficits eventually roll over into long-term debt. The cost to finance Canada’s growing debt pile — which has more than doubled over the last nine years to $1.4 trillion — is consuming an increasing amount of taxpayer dollars as the government is compelled to refinance its borrowing at higher rates.”

In response to the 2024 budget, Scotiabank commented on the skyrocketing debt charges, stating, “Trudeau and Freeland are burdening Canada’s youth who will inevitably bear these bills for many years. Portraying such a budget as beneficial to the youth, who have largely distanced themselves from the Liberals, is misleading.”

My question for you this week is: Do you think the 2024 Liberal budget promotes “fairness for every generation”? Why or why not?

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