With today’s talk about budget projects and economic troubles, I had the Progressive Conservative campaign refresh

me on the details of their program spending. Here is a summary of how their plan works, and where all of the money comes from and where it all would be spent. Fair warning – this isn’t a balanced news story. It’s just a summary of what they told me on background that I’m pushing out. PC summary of plan • “We balance deficit reduction, tax relief, and funding for priority programs. We balance the budget by 2017-2018, and are ahead of the Liberal deficit targets throughout our mandate. Savings are reasonable, and apply only to the part of the budget outside health and education.” Highlights of Conservative fiscal platform • Liberals and Conservative use virtually the same revenue projections, and if you swap their numbers both still work as they are intended. • Economic growth projection over next four years is 2011 (2.6%), 2012 (2.8%), 2013 (2.7%) and 2014 (2.6%) • Used same private sector forecasters as government – TD Economics, CIBC Economics, RBC Economics, Scotia, BMO, Desjardins, HIS Global Insight, Centre for Spatial Economics, Conference Board of Canada, Central 1 Credit Union, and University of Toronto. • Revenue before tax relief grows by $20.8-billion by last year of mandate • Estimates $16.1-billion of that is available for allocation in 2015, after you account for debt servicing and a small boost to reserves. • Of that $16-billion, $3.5-billion goes to tax relief. $3.7-billion goes to increased program spending. $8.9-billion reduces deficit. • By 2015 Conservatives will have deficit down to $7.2-billion, which is $7.8billion ahead of the Liberal plan. Breakdown of $3.7-billion net spending increase • $6.1-billion goes to health. • $2.5-billion goes to education • $400-million goes to “other change book initiatives” Expirations of one time spending • $3-billion of one-time items or limited spending is in 2011 budget. Not included by 2015 budget. “Since we are starting from the 2011 budget, the end of these one-time items represents savings… available for other purposes.” • Most of that one-time spending is from $1.44-billion from HST cheques • Rest is time-limited justice sector spending, time limited “university, municipal, sports stimulus” and the rest is “other limited spending.” What happens when you cut • Plan is to cut 2 per cent per year in everything but health and education. That would save $2.3-billion by 2015. Measures include: review of agencies, lowering

public sector salaries, alternate service delivery, no subsidies to corporations, reducing cabinet by 20 per cent, reducing red tape by 30 per cent and creating a web site to watch waste.

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