New data shows the federal government appears well ahead of course for controlling spending.
The numbers released in the country’s public accounts show Ottawa’s total expenses came in $9.9-billion lower in the fiscal year 2011-12 than was projected in the June 2011 budget.
Program expenses were $8-billion lower — the rest came from a decrease in interest charges to service the debt.
The headline for the report was that the deficit for the year was $26.2-billion.
While higher than Ottawa’s most recent estimate, it was actually $6-billion less than what Finance Minister Jim Flaherty expected when he handed in the budget in June 2011.
Usually politicians are only too happy to spend all they can and buy as many votes as possible, but here there actually spending less on the stimulus than expected and choosing to leave it that way. As a side note, to you Americans and your drunken-sailor-spending-politicians, $8 billion might seem like pocket change; but when you consider that our annual deficit is $26 billion, a savings of $8 billion is a considerable amount.
A small aside to all the above: Mr. Harper included a provision in the new deal that will personally cost him a considerable amount. Prime ministers get an extra pension on top of their MP pensions, which would have paid Mr. Harper an extra $105,000 a year. Under the new rules he would get about $33,000 as of January, a cut of $72,000 a year.
How many times have you heard of a top-paid politician cutting his own pension, especially without any opposition group pushing for him to do so? That was entirely of his own accord, and I say good for him! Btw, this isn't a guy like Obama who's already made his millions and has a large guaranteed income from book deals and speaking engagements. This is a guy who's making the highest income he's ever made right now, and he's willing to take a personal cut to that income in the future.