Liberals face pressure for concrete ideas, economic plan in spending update

Published November 27, 2020 at 5:11 pm


OTTAWA — The federal Liberals are being warned that they need to provide a detailed plan on navigating the health and economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic in a key spending document next week.

Business and labour groups say the government must outline concrete proposals to manage COVID-19 in the short term, but also outline more long-term steps for recovery.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland is to table the fall economic statement on Monday, giving a full accounting of pandemic spending so far and possibly laying out new programs and plans.

The update will also provide a view of the depth of this year’s deficit, which in July was forecast at a historic $343.2 billion.

A report this morning from RBC forecasts the update will show a deficit of close to $370 billion, plus economic stimulus plans that take next year’s deficit to at least $90 billion.

Should the Liberals make some aid permanent, the cost to finance it could lead to tax increases that a report from the C.D. Howe Institute today suggests could include a two-point increase in the GST.

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