The PQ would like Quebec to return to surpluses next year | Elections Quebec 2022

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The PQ would like Quebec to return to surpluses next year | Élections Quebec 2022

Paul St-Pierre Plamondon thus proposes to reduce payments to the Generations Fund by $10 billion over 4 years.

The Parti Québécois presented its financial framework on Tuesday.

The Parti Québécois (PQ) suggests in its financial framework that a government led by its leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon would achieve a slight budget surplus as soon as x27; in 2023-2024, a first among the five main political parties running in the elections this year.

To do this, the party is proposing to slash $10.3 billion in payments to the Generations Fund starting next year, until the end of a possible four-year term. . Of the lot, an amount of $1 billion per year would be used to finance the just transition.

The PQ thus finds itself halfway between Québec solidaire (QS), which would suspend all payments to the Generations Fund ($17.39 billion over four years), and the Liberal Party of Quebec (PLQ), which does not wouldn't touch it. The Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ), for its part, would decrease payments by $7.6 billion over the same period, plus $417 million (M$) for the current year.

The surpluses glimpsed by the PQ would only be temporary, however. While its financial framework does indeed predict surpluses of $383 million and $544 million over the next two years, it also forecasts a balanced budget in 2025-2026, followed by a deficit of $518 million in 2026- 2027.

It's a very comfortable zone of debt, and that's what is causing the debt-to-GDP ratio to improve despite still ambitious investments in public services, a commented Paul St-Pierre Plamondon in a press briefing on Tuesday afternoon.

The Quebec Infrastructure Plan (PQI), meanwhile, would be increased by $7.7 billion.

Our objective, with this financial framework, is to give Quebec society the means to deal with the prevailing economic instability, the ecological transition that we must make, all while succeeding in offering strong services to the population. , reads the 10-page document.

The PQ on Tuesday became the fourth of the five main political parties to present its financial framework after the PLQ (September 4), QS (last Friday) and the CAQ (Saturday). Only the Conservative Party of Quebec (PCQ) has not yet made its public. This should be done by the end of the week.

The PQ's financial framework reports $29.9 billion in new spending and $12.3 billion in new revenue over five years. It further projects that the ratio of gross debt to GDP would decline from 40.4% to 39.4% over the same period, 2022-23 to 2026-27.

However, the PQ calculates that these two measures could be implemented at zero cost. According to its projections, the increase in the number of experienced workers in the labor market would generate $9.65 billion in new tax revenues over five years.

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The PQ's second most costly promise concerns the shift to home care, a budget item representing expenditures of $7.7 billion over five years, including $3 billion in 2026-2027, which largely explains why the party is planning the return to deficit that year.

The amounts provided for the purchasing power allowance are also colossal: $6.3 billion for the year 2022-2023 alone .

To help middle- and low-income households, the Parti Québécois will pay a one-time purchasing power allowance of $1,200 to people with an income of $50,000 or less, and $750 to those whose income does not. does not exceed $80,000, recalls the training in its financial framework. In addition, we will double the solidarity credit. A temporary solution for a temporary reality.

Among the other notable expenses that the PQ wishes to add to those already planned in the 2022 pre-election report of the Ministry of Finance, we note among others the 3, $45 billion budgeted to build social housing and the $1.44 billion reserved to convert private daycare spaces into CPEs.

The training also provides $231 million to prepare for independence, from 2023-2024 to 2025-2026, while QS provides $560 million for its constituent assembly, from 2023-2024 to 2026-2027.

If, as promised, the financial framework of the PQ does not provide for tax increases or taxes for individuals and SMEs, it does include some surprises in terms of revenue.

The party plans, for example, to introduce this year a tax on excess profits related to the pandemic, bringing in $1 billion in 2022-2023 and $250 million in 2023-2024. This proposal has not yet been detailed.

The PQ also wants to tax the digital giants (GAFAM) at 3% of their Quebec turnover, which according to him would bring $1.77 billion over five years, and taxing diverted profits to fight tax havens, to raise $623 million over the same period.

The end of incorporation and the revision of doctors' remuneration could bring the state $3.9 billion by 2026-2027, assesses the party, while QS, which advocates a similar reform, forecasts savings of $2.2 billion from 2023 -2024.

Finally, the PQ estimates that it can save $63 million over five years by imposing a moratorium on 4-year-old kindergarten.

With information from Valérie Gamache

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