'Forgotten' $16.3 Billion: Liberal Party Corrects Fiscal Framework | Elections Quebec 2022

Spread the love

““”Oblivion” of 16.3 billion : the Liberal Party corrects its financial framework | Élections Québec 2022

The party nevertheless maintains all of its electoral commitments.

Le cheffe of the Quebec Liberal Party, Dominique Anglade

“The calculation of Quebec's public debt is quite complex. Probably we did it too quickly. »

Quebec Liberal Party campaign chairman and former finance minister Carlos Leitão had to explain miscalculations in his financial framework, presented by party leader Dominique Anglade at the start of the campaign.

His political formation, which wishes to be recognized by voters as the party of the economy, is placed on the defensive on Wednesday after revelations from the daily La Presse+ to the the effect that the total amount of debt after a first Liberal term was underestimated by $12 billion.

The Liberals also chose not to include pandemic-related spending in their budget forecast.

Result: The party underestimated the province's gross debt. #x27;about $16.3 billion, which significantly upsets its economic forecasts.

Listen, a financial framework is first and foremost a political document where we establish our priorities, our choices, said Carlos Leitão, who was appointed by the party to answer questions from journalists, the leader Dominique Anglade being in preparation for the first debate of the campaign. We have chosen to help citizens in a difficult period, added the former tenor of finance under the government of Philippe Couillard.

“We haven't forgotten [16.3] billion. We put our efforts into calculating our commitments. Our goal was to put in place tools to help citizens. These calculations, we made sure to do them properly. »

— Carlos Leitão, former Minister of Finance and President of the PLQ campaign

He promises that this miscalculation will have no impact on electoral commitments and insists: On the substance of the measures, the correction changes absolutely nothing in the commitments of the Liberal Party. The whole program remains, in the same scope. It has no impact.

The tax cuts, the improvement of the allowance for seniors and the establishment of a state corporation for the development of the state; green hydrogen, among others, are therefore always on the menu. A set of pledges totaling $41 billion.

This avalanche of spending contrasts with the years of austerity and budgetary discipline of the most recent Liberal government, of which he was the architect. There is a moment to put the house in order, as was the case between 2014 and 2016, and another moment to help citizens deal with a complex situation, he advanced to explain this. contrast. The anticipated deficits [in the Liberal platform] are manageable, maintains Mr. Leitão.

Carlos Leitão was one of the strong men of Philippe Couillard's government between 2014 and 2018.

These $16.3 billion are entirely transferred to the public debt forecasts after the passage to power of the next government.

It is therefore the ratio between debt and gross domestic product (GDP) that will be affected. Yet the Liberal financial framework justified its billions in promises by a steady decline in this indicator of the province's debt level. Although our financial framework does not propose a return to a balanced budget over the five-year horizon, the debt-to-GDP ratio will continue to fall, we can still read in the document.< /p>

It's even an aspect of Ms. Anglade's plan that had been highlighted by the leader of the Parti Québécois, Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, who, unlike François Legault, had refused to call Liberal promises irresponsible.

What you have to look at […] is the debt-to-GDP ratio, it's not indebtedness per se, but the ratio of indebtedness to the size of the economy, and when you look at what the Liberals put forward, my understanding […] is that we continue to reduce the debt-GDP ratio, declared Mr. St-Pierre Plamondon.

However, with this new calculation, the Liberal Party must review its ambitions in this regard. The debt-GDP ratio goes down anyway, promises Carlos Leitão. Less quickly, but still.

This error did not fail to make the leaders react during the election campaign, even if most of them are busy preparation for the debate, which will take place on Thursday.

It's for sure not nothing, said Québec solidaire co-spokesperson Manon Massé in reaction to the article in La Presse+. The only party not mentioned in this article is QS. At QS, we did our homework. We know that the figures that are in our financial framework, both expenses and revenues, are validated and are clear, she added.

“We followed what the Auditor General asked us to do, which is not the case with the Liberals. We didn't go "bizouner" in the numbers. »

— Manon Massé, co-spokesperson for Québec solidaire

For his part, Conservative leader Éric Duhaime said he first wanted to show humility in the face of the blunder of his opponents. The budgetary framework in the election campaign is an exercise which, according to him, is called upon to be corrected along the way. He still took the opportunity to shoot an arrow at Dominique Anglade.

Éric Duhaime presented the financial executive of the Conservatives on Wednesday. He was the last chef to take part in the exercise.

I just find it ironic that this happened when the lady was telling me that I was not eligible because I had paid a late tax bill, he said. She makes a $12 billion mistake in her financial framework… I don't know if that makes her ineligible. I consider not. I think she has the right to run anyway.

Previous Article
Next Article