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HomePolicy Articles Article Summary

A Funny Way of Sharing: Revisiting the Liberal Government's "50:50" Promise

Reports and Studies by CCPA

This technical paper accompanies the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ (CCPA) Alternative Federal Budget 2003. In this report, the CCPA points out that, during the 1997 federal election campaign, Prime Minister Chrétien promised that future fiscal dividends resulting from the elimination of the deficit would be divided in half: one-half would be reinvested by the federal government in a range of social priorities while the other half would be used to establish a more prudent and competitive fiscal climate.

Hard data on the federal government’s actual budgetary performance since 1997, however, suggest that its allocation of the fiscal dividend has been anything but balanced. The CCPA argues that during the last five fiscal years from the time the paper was written, fully 90 percent of newly available resources have been dedicated to tax cuts and debt repayment. Accordingly, the CCPA concludes that, no matter how much the federal government spends on new program initiatives in coming years, the 50-50 promise will remain one that is politically convenient but fiscally unattainable.

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Policy Publication Details

Author(s): CCPA;
Publisher: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives [ Visit Website ]
Year Published: 2003; Publisher Type: Research Institute
Publicly Available: Yes Research Focus: National;
Registration Required: No Language: English
Payment Required: No Publication Format: Adobe PDF

Subjects / Categories:

Policy Articles / Fiscal & Budgetary / Federal & Provincial Budget
Policy Articles / Fiscal & Budgetary / Federal & Provincial Budget / 2003
Policy Articles / Fiscal & Budgetary

Keywords / Tags:

alternative federal budget; Jean Chretien; 50:50 promise; social priorities; deficit elimination; fiscal dividend; program initiatives;