The flashy generosity of the CAQ

François Legault’s Caquiste government prides itself on having made the portfolio of Quebecers a priority for its government by returning nearly $3 billion a year to them.

But François Legault and his Treasury Secretary Eric Girard forget to say that, despite this apparent generosity, the Legault government will draw significantly more taxes out of the pockets of Quebec taxpayers.

For example, for the current fiscal year, the CAQ government will deduct $18 billion more from us in taxes, fees, levies, and permits than it did in 2018-2019, when it took over from Philippe Couillard’s Liberal government.

If a government, after returning $3 billion to taxpayers, manages to get about $18 billion more out of the pockets of the same taxpayers in a year, there’s really nothing to worry about.

ELECTORAL GENIUS

After the battle of electoral genius who recently paid a $500 gift to each of the 6.4 million Quebec taxpayers who earn net incomes of $100,000 or less, the Legault government will give them another cash gift to give them to help with the rising cost of living.

And that’s a good thing, because the Supreme Caquiste will formalize that gift in September, just at the beginning of the elections on October 3. It was the Treasury Secretary, Eric Girard, who had the honor of confirming this other financial boost.

We don’t yet know whether the amount of this other gift will also be $500, and whether it will be paid through a refundable tax credit (like the previous one) or by check.

Politically, let’s agree that inflation is “a perfect fit” for François Legault’s government, as it allowed him to hand out cash gifts to 95% of all taxpayers, in the middle of an election year.

Nothing better than a little gift to remind voters that it pays to vote for the party in power!

BUDGET REPORT

After five years of budget surplus, four of them under the rule of Liberal Finance Minister Carlos Leitão, the Leito government was forced to end its last three years in power in the red of several billion dollars.

It is clear because of the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy and public finances that the Legault government, like all governments around the world, has found a deficit.

Treasury Secretary Eric Girard may have come to take billions of additional taxes out of taxpayers’ pockets during the two years of the pandemic, in addition to taking advantage of a significant increase of several billion in federal transfers from Justin Trudeau’s administration, these additional revenues could not cover the increase in public expenditure (health, education, economy, etc.).

In particular, the dramatic health impact of COVID-19 has forced the government to significantly expand the portfolio of the Ministry of Health and Social Services. We’re talking a $10 billion increase in 2020-21, followed by an additional $4 billion increase in 2021-22.

Minister Girard expects to close the current fiscal year (2022-23) with a deficit (before transfer of money to the Generation Fund) of 3 billion dollars. But with the addition in September of the other election giveaway to taxpayers to offset inflation, the deficit could turn out higher. Unless he manages to divert more income tax from us again.

During Carlos Leitao’s last liberal budget, the one of 2018-19, the Quebec government reported a $7.9 billion surplus.

Quebec government debt currently stands at $207 billion, up $22 billion from Couillard’s government last year. It represents 38.8% of the province’s GDP.


THE ECONOMY

A little more boasting from Secretary Eric Girard.

He claims that the financial efforts of the Legault government have made it possible to narrow the wealth gap with Ontario. The gap between Quebec’s GDP per capita compared to Ontario’s has widened from 16.8% in 2018 to 13.6% in 2022, he says. His goal is to narrow the gap to 10% by 2026. .

Through numerous initiatives led by its Minister of Economy, former businessman Pierre Fitzgibbon, the Legault government has invested billions of dollars in financial support for businesses and other economic programs (innovation, research, digital shifting, etc.).

Under François Legault and his minister Pierre Fitzgibbon, Investissement Québec and the Development Fund are at the forefront of business in Québec.

To monitor !

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