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Finance Minister Paul Martin unveiled the Liberal governments 1997 budget recently As most economic and political experts predicted there were very few surprises if any This was a cautious and predicable budget that was every bit political as it was economical With the Liberal government set to call an election in late May or early June the Party was very reluctant to rock the boat further This is what they have done in the 1997 budget and the subsequent reactions to the new budget from both the business and political communities In this no-surprises pre-election budget Martin said deficit cutting is coming to an end and that Canadians particularly the unemployed will soon reap the rewards of 40 months of strict financial management With the Federal deficit dropping over the last few years the Liberals feel that they can balance the budget in the next two years This is important because it will allow the government to halt their foreign borrowing to finance the deficit This greatly helps the credibility of Canada and puts the countrys destiny back into domestic palms With this said Martin announced no new tax increases although the raise in the Pension Plan could be considered a hidden tax increase Martin announced no new spending cuts in this budget although cuts made in previous budgets are set to slash 3 billion more dollars this year There was some extra spending sprinkled into various areas For starters a new tax benefit will be created in co-operation with the provinces costing the Federal government 600 billion This program is attempting to help the poor and this can be effective economically because poor people tend to spend everything they have and they almost always spend it domestically This program will be introduced in two the stages the first of which will begin this July with a 195 million supplement Instead of benefits being capped at 500 per family the maximum
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