Ottawas deficit hits 14 billion nine months into 201617 fiscal year

OTTAWA – The federal government ran a budgetary shortfall of $14 billion over the first nine months of the fiscal year, compared with a $3.2-billion surplus over the same period a year earlier.The Finance Department’s monthly fiscal monitor says federal program expenses between April and December rose $16.7 billion, or 8.8 per cent, compared with the same stretch a year ago.A closer look at the numbers shows that major government transfers to individuals, including seniors benefits, were up $5.7 billion, or 9.3 per cent, while direct-program spending rose $8.9 billion, or 11.3 per cent.Government revenues, such as those pulled in from income taxes, were down $1.9 billion or 0.9 per cent compared with 2015-16.The Trudeau government is projecting a $25.1-billion deficit for 2016-17 as part of its plan to run several double-digit shortfalls over the coming years in an effort to lift the economy through infrastructure investments and larger child benefits.The Finance Department also says Ottawa posted a $1.3-billion deficit in December alone — compared to a $2.2-billion surplus in December 2015. by The Canadian Press Posted Feb 24, 2017 9:00 am MDT Last Updated Feb 24, 2017 at 9:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Ottawa’s deficit hits $14 billion nine months into 2016-17 fiscal year