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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:46 pm    Post subject: Canadians not impressed with Liberal's budget -- survey Reply with quote

Canadians were not impressed’ by federal budget: survey
OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Apr. 17, 2017 1:12PM EDT

Most Canadians are giving the Liberal government’s second budget a thumbs down, according to a new survey for The Globe and Mail by Nanos Research.

Canadians are also expressing a strong desire for Ottawa to lay out a plan for eliminating the deficit after the budget made no mention of when the federal books will be balanced.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau released a budget March 22 that quickly disappeared from the headlines, as the largely status-quo document contained few new measures that attracted strong controversy or praise.

John Ibbitson: Trudeau's Liberals: A midterm report card

Having already released a 10-year spending plan in 2016, the 2017 budget provided new detail on how the Liberals will carve up previously announced spending on infrastructure. The budget also made some changes to tax credits, including the elimination of a tax break for people who buy monthly transit passes.

The Nanos Research survey of 1,000 Canadians was conducted between April 1 and April 4, as part of a larger hybrid telephone and online random poll. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

The survey found a slight majority of Canadians have a negative or somewhat negative view of the recent federal budget. When asked for their views on the budget, 22 per cent said negative and 30 per cent said somewhat negative. Only 5 per cent of Canadians said they had a positive view, while 33 per cent said their opinion was somewhat positive. Eleven per cent of Canadians said they were unsure.

“Canadians were not impressed with the recent federal budget,” said pollster Nik Nanos. “I think the fact that only one out of every 20 Canadians had an outright positive view of the federal budget should give the Liberals pause because it suggests that the budget, at least for a number of Canadians, was a disappointment.”
[emphasis added]
When asked about the importance for the federal government of having a plan in place to eliminate the deficit, four in five Canadians said it was important or somewhat important. Only 1 per cent said it was unimportant and 8 per cent said it was somewhat unimportant.

The Liberal Party campaigned in 2015 on a plan to run short-term deficits of no more than $10-billion a year to fund infrastructure spending. The platform also promised to return to balance by 2019.

The stage is set for a new leader that can take the economic criticism of the Liberals budgets and amplify it. It is turning out their campaign was a passel of lies, but they are still being borne up by some good news ... that Canada is leading the G-7 once again in economic performance.

Canada Is the G-7’s Surprise Growth Leader, For Now
by Theophilos Argitis
April 17, 2017, 5:52 AM EDT April 17, 2017, 6:03 AM EDT
Central bank’s latest GDP forecast tops developed-world peers
Weak exports, business investment are flies in the ointment

Almost out of nowhere, Canada has become one of the fastest growing economies in the developed world.

The oil-producing nation, which struggled mightily with falling crude prices the past two years, grew at an annualized pace of almost 4 percent in the first quarter, according to the Bank of Canada’s latest estimates. No other Group of Seven economy even came close.

For all 2017, the central bank is projecting 2.6 percent growth -- which would put the economy at the top of the rich-country growth scale.

Yet even with the economy suddenly running hot, caution prevails. The Canadian dollar has had a middling performance despite the strong economic numbers.

At a rate decision last week in Ottawa, Canada’s central bank revised up growth projections for 2017, but cut them for 2018. It also raised questions about the sustainability of the rebound and the country’s long-term growth outlook.

The Bank of Canada “welcomes the recent strength in economic data and wants to see more of it in order to be more confident that growth is on a solid footing,” Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn Wilkins told reporters Wednesday.

What Gives?

Policy makers provided three reasons for why they believe growth will revert to a slower pace:

* The energy sector is stabilizing, which removes a major drag on GDP. But that doesn’t mean it will be a source of growth any time soon.
* An increase in government transfers is boosting household spending, but here too the impacts on growth will level off.
* Housing activity in the greater Toronto region, which has been on a tear, will slow.

And they added another worry. Whatever growth there is just doesn’t feel right given the weakness of exports and investment.

“We do not yet see the well-balanced base,” Wilkins said.

Governor Stephen Poloz has often outlined what he thinks the economy will look like when things return to normal -- a self-generating expansion not fueled by policy. Trade and business investment are crucial to that story.

But those two components have rarely been weaker. The central bank for example sees business investment declining for a third straight year in 2017 -- only the second time in records dating back to the 1950s that’s ever happened and the first time outside of a recession.

The trouble is, a lot of the increase comes from inflation in the housing market. It means people are spending more money for housing, but that isn't new wealth. It's the result of a bubble.
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Canadians not impressed with Liberal's budget -- survey

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