Billions of New Spending in New Budget
Date: Tuesday, February 18 2003
Topic: Canadian Politics
After years of federal budgets that focused on cutting taxes paying down the debt, Manley announced increased spending on a range of programs from defence to affordable housing.
Of a $9.4 billion surplus, the budget lays out plans to spend it all but $3 billion, which will be put toward the national debt. With this document, Ottawa has its sixth consecutive balanced budget.
Manley's revenue projections and spending priorities are outlined in document called "Building the Canada We Want" his first budget and retiring Prime Minister Jean Chrétien's last.
Our choices must reflect the sum of our values. They must reflect Canadians' pride in their country and, above all, their hope and determination that their children will inherit an even better Canada and a better world."
The single largest chunk of new spending is on health, about $1.37 billion in the next fiscal year on top of billions Chrétien announced after a meeting with premiers earlier this month. Other highlights are:
- Immediate increase of $270 million to cover urgent Defence Department needs, such as Operation Apollo in Afghanistan;
- $800 million rise in the military's budget starting in 2003;
- $500 million increase in National Child Benefit over two years;
- $606 million on affordable housing and help for homeless over two years;
- Reduction in workers' EI payments by 12 cents to $1.98 per $100 of insurable earnings by 2004;
- Faster increase in RRSP contribution limits, reaching $18,000 in 2006;
- Drop in security charge on airline tickets to $14 from $24 for round-trips.
- Overall program spending up 11.5 per cent in 2002-03, and by an average of four per cent over the next two fiscal years.
Some of the money Manley is spending comes from the adoption of "full accrual accounting," a system of financial records that spreads the full cost of some spending over several years.