Federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland rose in Parliament on Tuesday afternoon to deliver the 2023 budget, and the response from opposition is expectedly divided. Since the 2019 election outcome, the governing Liberals have been relying on the NDP for support and this year is no different. The 2023 Budget – Made-in-Canada-Plan can be read here.
Still recovering from the pandemic, the Trudeau government is seeing the national economy now face rising inflation and wanted this budget to address the shortfalls many Canadians are feeling. In short, the budget was focused on Canadians’ pocketbooks, public health care, and a clean economy.
On the downside, the government has been criticized for the significant deficits that are forecasted for the next several years. While this year’s deficit of $40.1B is slightly lower than last year, it is $10B higher than forecasted in last fall’s economic snapshot. Interest on the national debt will double from $25B a year to $50B a year because our national debt is now at $1,180B plus rising interest rates.
Some notable elements in the budget include:
- $46.2 billion for federal-provincial-territorial health deals
- A one-time “grocery rebate,” which will provide eligible families with up to $467. Single people with no kids could get up to $234 more
- A 40 per cent increase to Canada Student Grants
- A $13-billion plan to expand dental care to families earning less than $90,000 a year
- A new 15 per cent refundable tax credit for clean electricity investments
- A refundable 30 per cent tax credit for investments in clean tech manufacturing
- Cuts to government spending of over $15B
- A tax on share buybacks
The NDP currently only hold 25 seats in the House of Commons, however their influence on this year’s budget was significant. The $13B allocated for a federal dental plan is a direct result of NDP demands. You can read their official response here. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has already announced that his party will support the budget bill, all but eliminating the possibility of an election anytime soon.
The official opposition Conservative Party was, expectedly, dead set opposed to budget 2023 criticizing the government for fueling the fire of financial deficits and making life more unaffordable for Canadians. Party leader Pierre Poilievre made it very clear that the Conservatives would not be supporting the budget.