Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Double Booking

Michael Freguson revealed that, when it came to the purchase of the F35 JSF, the Harper government was keeping two sets of books. Now parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page has revealed that, when it comes to federal spending cuts, the Harperites are adopting the same strategy. According to yesterday's Ottawa Citizen:

The unrolling of the Conservatives’ $5.2 billion in spending cuts, which has public servants on tenterhooks about their jobs, is only half of the reductions that federal departments will be swallowing over the next three years

In fact, several of the cuts which are now being made were signalled as far back as 2010:

The Conservatives have turned to the same pot of money — direct program spending — for three major rounds of spending cuts, which the Parliamentary Budget Office report says will total about $37 billion over five years.

The 2010 budget introduced reductions totalling $15 billion over five years, followed by about another $2 billion over five years in the 2011 budget and finally this year’s is aiming for $20 billion also over five years. But it doesn’t stop there.

After those cuts are absorbed, the government is counting on $10 billion in ongoing yearly savings from departments.

In the  real world, people go to jail for this kind of misrepresentation. The legal term for it is "fraud."

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