The Federal Government presented its 2014 Budget, “The Road to Balance: Creating Jobs and Opportunities,” on Tuesday, February 11. The Budget includes in its 419 pages approximately $280 billion in spending over the next several years. The Government won’t raise personal or corporate taxes in 2014 and predicts a $2.9 billion deficit in 2014-15, leading to a surplus of $6.4 billion the following year and $10.3 billion by 2018-19. The final deficit for 2013-14 was $16.6 billion, less than the $17.9 billion estimated in the fall.
The Budget offers no grand statements, but many targeted measures aimed at increasing revenue, preventing tax evasion, reducing the cost of Government, fostering innovation and supporting job creation through infrastructure spending and incentives for businesses. CPA Canada approves of the Government’s measured efforts to reduce the deficit and balance the country’s books. Gabe Hayos, CPA Canada’s vice-president of taxation, advises that “Spending shouldn’t pick up until it is clear that the budget is balanced and additional money is available.” However, the Government did not propose any significant measures to make the tax system more efficient and reduce the red tape that businesses face.