Letters: How was surplus a surprise?

Wow, and just before an election. Who’d have thought?

Editor, The News:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has announced a ‘surprise’ budget surplus of $1.9 billion in the previous fiscal 2014.

Wow, and just before an election. Who’d have thought?

Ironically enough, this figure is close to the sum he cut from veteran’s affairs in 2014. That same year, almost 14 per cent of the money allocated to foreign affairs was returned unused.

Overall in 2014, $7.2 billion was returned unspent to the government.

It also withheld $1 billion from the military, resulting in degradation of training and vehicle maintenance or replacement.

Border service was also cut.

All this money returned to the government went to the assets account and counted as income.

Prior to this, the federal government held on to more than $10 billion it was expected to spend in 2012-13 – and still posted a deficit.

In fact, this year, $350 million has been returned unspent to the government from the immigration department, even with the looming Syrian refugee crisis.

Also withheld was $97 million from social services, money promised but never spent.

But to be reasonable, something must make up the revenue lost by his $90 billion tax break to profitable corporations.

And, of course, the current ‘surplus’ is based on the PMO examining only two months of economic figures.

The Parliamentary Budget Office and Bank of Canada, whose results he cannot fudge, disagree.

But my main question remains. Mr. Harper has a degree in economics and claims to be fiscally responsible (even though he’s added 24 per cent of all national debt since 1867).

So, how is it, conveniently right before an election, you suddenly ‘discover’ an almost $2 billion ‘surplus’ from the previous year?

F. Braun McAsh

Maple Ridge

 

Just Posted

Junior hockey back, as Flames host exhibition

Ice Hawks visit Maple Ridge on Aug. 23

Resident asks Maple Ridge council to skip UBCM reception

Doesn’t want politicians to attend China-sponsored event

The scenic route through Maple Ridge

Winding Fern Crescent offers relaxing views

Bulldogs defeat Ridge Meadows Royals

Exhibition game proved to be challenging for both teams

Trudeau to meet with U.K. and Japanese prime ministers ahead of G7 summit

French President Emmanuel Macron, this year’s G7 host, has little expectations of a unified front from the leaders

Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

The media literacy campaign to focus on identifying misinformation and suspicious sources online

Big rally in northern B.C. draws attention to continuing lumber crisis

Mayor Joan Atkinson says about 400 workers have been directly affected by the closure of the Canfor mill

Orangeville Northmen take Minto Cup at Langley Events Centre

Swept best-of-five series 3-0 over Victoria Shamrocks

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

UPDATE: Crown cross-examines B.C. father accused of killing daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

Most Read