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The PLQ urges Legault to present a plan to return to budget balance

Photo: Jacques Boissinot Archives The Canadian Press “This plan cannot wait until next year. This is why I ask you to table and present a credible plan to return to budget balance by the summer,” wrote Liberal Leader Marc Tanguay to Prime Minister Legault.

The Liberal Party of Quebec (PLQ) demands that the government of Prime Minister François Legault present by the summer a plan to return to a balanced budget following the tabling of the last budget weighed down by a deficit of 11 billion.

In a letter to Mr. Legault, interim Liberal leader Marc Tanguay was concerned to see his Finance Minister, Eric Girard, taking advantage of the provisions that allow him to wait until next year to reveal his plan.

“This plan can’t wait until next year. This is why I ask you to table and present a credible plan to return to a balanced budget by the summer,” wrote Mr. Tanguay.

The Liberal leader recalled that the deficit of 11 billion forecast for 2024-2025 is almost four times higher than expected, which occurs in the context where credit rating agencies will soon be informed of the financial situation of Quebec.

“The result of your administration contributes to tarnishing the positive reputation that we have built over the years, based on rigor and sound management,” he said.

Last week, when he presented his budget, Mr. Girard said that he would wait until the next budget is tabled, in March 2025, to present a plan to achieve zero deficit, as permitted by the Finance Act. budgetary balance. Mr. Legault then affirmed that this plan will be spread over five years, the maximum duration legally provided for.

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“Cuts” without a shot

In a press briefing, Mr. Tanguay declared that the absence of a plan to return to budget balance is “a serious problem”.

“Last week, two credit rating firms raised yellow flags, DBRS and Moody’s,” he said. And, in this sense, we cannot let the situation go. »

His colleague, finance spokesperson, Frédéric Beauchemin, affirmed that the government is banking on a reduction in interest rates for a recovery in the economy which would translate into revenue.

“The CAQ’s strategy, as we have seen, is to wait and hope that the central bank will lower its key rate,” he said. Waiting and wishing is not a strategy. »

In the House, Mr. Legault wanted to be reassuring about the impact of the budget on the borrowing capacity of the Quebec government, although it is still early to have a precise portrait.

“Since the budget was tabled, there have been bond issues that have been carried out, we have succeeded in them,” he said.

Mr. Legault affirmed that his government intends to eliminate the deficit in five years, at the end of the 2029-2030 fiscal year. Expenditure reduction initiatives have been announced and others will follow in the coming year, indicated the Prime Minister.

“We already have measures for the next three years,” he explained. We are already forecasting that the deficit will decrease significantly in the next two years. »

Mr. Tanguay replied that these initiatives should be based on a plan to return to budget balance which has not yet been presented.

“He’s already going to start making cuts without a plan,” he said. Quebec and the listing houses have the right to have it. »

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116