Liberals’ fiscal update shows billions more in deficits this year and next

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OTTAWA — The Finance Department says the federal books will be billions of dollars deeper into deficit by the end of this fiscal year.

The figures released this morning show that the Liberals’ projected deficit of $19.8 billion for the 12-month period that ends in March is now slated to actually be $26.6 billion.

And next year’s deficit is expected to be $28.1 billion, before accounting for promises the Liberals will unveil in their 2020 budget.

The Liberals’ election platform projected four years of deficits of more than $20 billion, including almost $27.4 billion in the upcoming fiscal year that begins in April 2020.

The Finance Department says the increased deficit is largely driven by changes to how employee pensions and benefits are calculated, but also accounts for a tax break that takes effect on Jan. 1.

The update provided today from Finance Minister Bill Morneau comes on the heels of a week where the Conservatives accused the government of creating the conditions for a “made-in-Canada recession.”