Tory cabinet minister slams Liberals for deficit new government will inherit
A former Conservative cabinet minister slammed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government Tuesday for the for the string of deficits that the newly minted Liberal government is projected to inherit.
Tony Clement, the MP for Parry Sound-Muskoka who served as the Treasury Board President in Stephen Harper’s cabinet, made the accusation in response to Canada’s Parliamentary Budget Officer’s report showing that the Conservative’s federal budget projections were based on unrealistic assumptions of economic growth, and revising the GDP growth forecast for 2015 from 2.1% to 1.1%.
“The PBO confirmed today exactly what we said during the campaign — that Liberals will run significantly larger than revised deficits,” Clement said. “The Liberals were telling Canadians that they’d run $10 billion per year deficits. The PBO said that they’re already starting nearly $13 billion behind.”
“We want to know how the Liberals will avoid falling deeper into the fiscal hole,” Clement added. “Our concern as the Official Opposition remains that the shortfall will be made up through pockets books of hard-working Canadians using tax hikes on their paycheques, removal of benefits they rely on, and cutting services they need.”
Canada’s on social media reacted Clement’s statement with anger and ridicule.
“And whose fiscal irresponsibility did that?” Larry Lootsteen of Kitchener, Ontario asked Clement on Twitter. “Who also added $150B+ in new debt? Oh yeah, that was your team. Forgot already?”
“How in the world is this the Liberals fault, 1st week on the job?” Jonathan White asked. “This is YOUR [email protected] mess!”
“Brilliant move, sir,” a user who goes by the handle cyberwuff tweeted. “Create a structural deficit, lie about it, lose the election, then criticize LPC days later.”
“Thanks for your incompetence in leaving a deficit,” RCAF veteran Roy George Sr. responded. “You all should be charged with mismanagement of taxpayer funds.”
Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau feels that it’s too early to decide whether the Liberals should carry out a course correction.
“It’s way premature to go after decisions on whether we would re-think our platform commitments,” Mr. Morneau told reporters on Tuesday. “We believe that what we put forward in our platform were the right approaches to dealing with what we see as tepid growth and this [report] just reinforces the need for those sorts of commitments for Canadians.”