Legault is painted in the corner

Legault is painted in the corner

Beware of crazy promises!

That the leaders of the opposition parties multiply electoral promises to woo voters is fair game. Especially in this election campaign where his chances of seizing power are slim to none, if we are to believe the polls.

But for outgoing Prime Minister François Legault to be even more “generous” than his opponents is beyond comprehension. It is very likely that he will put his feet in the plates.

Why? Because he, given his very high chances of staying in power, should be extremely cautious about the negative impact costly election promises can have on the financial health of the Quebec government.

I have no doubt that the province’s public finances are in better shape than its finance minister, Eric Girard, suggested when he presented his budget for the current fiscal year last March.

Thanks to an unexpected surplus in tax revenue, the Quebec government is now expected, according to the Pre-Election Report on the State of Public Finances, to declare a cumulative budget surplus of $7.6 billion for the three fiscal years from 2022-23 to 2025-26. (We are talking here about surpluses before the transfer of money to the Generations Fund).

  • Listen to Michel Girard’s economic editorial broadcast live every day at 7:50 am a QUB-radius :

Back to big deficits

With the panoply of election promises, let’s forget the budget surpluses predicted in the Pre-Election Report. The Government of Quebec will fall back into the hole.

The election campaign had barely begun when François Legault himself set the tone by launching into the unveiling of costly election promises that would quickly “burn” this $7.6 billion in budget surplus over three years.

As a reminder, here are the main “electoral gifts” that François Legault, the leader of the Khakis, unveiled in this first election week.

  • 1% reduction in the first two tax brackets starting in 2023: $7.4 billion tax relief over 4 years.
  • Payment at the end of the year of an amount of $600 to people who earn less than $50,000 and $400 to those who earn between $50,000 and $100,000: a gift of 3 $500 million.
  • Enhancing support for seniors age 70 and over by increasing it from $411 to a maximum amount of $2,000 – a commitment of $1.6 billion.
  • Creation of a Blue Fund: $650 million.
  • One subsidized child care space for each child: $1.4 billion.
  • Construction of 11,700 social and low-income homes and subsidies for 7,200 more homes through the Income Supplement Program: an invoice of $1,800 million.
  • Training and hiring of 660 doctors and 5,000 health professionals: $400 million.
  • Additional provision for the renovation of 600 schools: $2 billion.
  • Limit all government rate increases to 3% or less: $2.2 billion.
  • Listen to Michel Girard’s economic editorial broadcast live every day at 7:50 am a QUB-radius :

$21 billion in pledges

Francois Legault’s campaign pledge tally so far stands at $21 billion.

And to think that he still has four weeks left in the electoral campaign to announce other electoral promises.

With the khaki motto “CONTINUATIONS”, we will have understood that with Legault “The sky is the limit»

Where will the money come from?

On October 4, the day after his very likely re-election, where will François Legault get the tens of billions of dollars to finance his costly electoral promises?

Having completely “burned through” the projected surplus of $7.6 billion over three years, you will find yourself faced with three options:

1. Declare strong deficits in the next legislature;

two. Renounce the entry into force of certain electoral promises;

3. Dive into the pot of the Generations Fund to finance those promises.

If François Legault uses the money accumulated in the Generations Fund to pay his electoral promises, this will have the impact of increasing the government’s debt by the same amount.

If so, it is our young people and future generations who will have to foot the bill. The same with the strong deficits related to the crazy promises of the current electoral campaign.


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