Published October 18, 2012 | 12:13 pm
Ottawa: Finance Minister Jim Flaherty also said that Canada may have to downgrade its economic and fiscal forecasts to take into account continuing economic challenges in Europe and the United States.
In the government’s fall fiscal update due in coming weeks, Flaherty will update projections for the federal budget deficit based on the average of private sector forecasts.
The 2012 budget presented in March envisions the fiscal deficit narrowing gradually and a return to a small surplus in 2015/16. Lower growth forecasts could potentially push back the date for balancing the books.
Flaherty also said he was concerned by the debt and deficit levels in some of the country’s 10 provinces.
The federal government on Thursday introduced its second major bill to implement measures announced in the spring budget.The newly introduced bill included changes to the pension plan for MPs, which will force them to pay higher contributions and wait longer for their benefits.
Reacting to changes in pension plan,Treasury Board President Tony Clement says MP contributions will jump to about $39,000 from the present level of about $11,000.