Alternative Federal Budget decodes the spin, provides a guide to the Economic and Fiscal Update

November 11, 2005

OTTAWA—Monday’s Economic and Fiscal Update is animated more by politics than economics. In the present political circumstances the temptation for the Liberals to massage their financial disclosures in a manner consistent with their pre-election strategy is great.

A new report, released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives,  provides Canadians with tools to decode the spin. Authored by CCPA Senior Economist Ellen Russell, the report helps journalists and others examine the plausibility of the government’s numbers by providing:

  • an assessment of how big the current year’s surplus should be;
  • an indication of budget surpluses for future years;
  • pointers on how to tell whether the government is spending as much as it seems to be;
  • a reality check for the plausibility of revenue and expenditure estimates.

“Setting aside any new announcements, if the government puts out a fiscal forecast that does not have a surplus of at least $10 billion this year, or if future surplus projections drop substantially below $10 billion, then Canadians have a right to be suspicious about the government’s numbers,” Russell says.

Ellen Russell will be presesnt in the Technical Background Briefing prior to the release of the Economic and Fiscal Update on Monday and will be available for comment afterwards.


Taking the Spin out of the Economic and Fiscal Update: A Guide to the Numbers is available on the CCPA web site at

For more information contact Kerri-Anne Finn, CCPA Communications Officer, at 613-563-1341 x306.