Thursday, March 24, 2011

It's your money....

...Tune in to see how they're going to spend it.

At first, I didn't like how that sounded.  This afternoon, I realized why.  It's not necessarily a knock against any particular government, but government in general.

Today, the Saskatchewan Government handed down its 4th budget.  While not specifically an election budget, this budget does address a few items and sprinkles around a few goodies which might make people more inclined to be well-disposed to the government in power.

Budget day is always an interesting day for me.  I generally wait with baited breath to hear what little goodies I'm going to have to remember and let my clients know about.  Last year, I was disappointed but relieved because there was nothing in either the Federal or the Provincial budget that substantially changed things for my clients.  This year, the Federal budget was about the same.  I'm not going to write a post on it because, well, until it passes a confidence vote I'm not going to waste my breath.

The Provincial budget yesterday, on the other hand, shows the difference between a government in good times vs a government in bad times.  As a strong fiscal conservative I keep getting disappointed that the government won't actually CUT spending, but as a fiscal conservative, I am happy that the government didn't need to increase taxes in any way in order to balance the budget.  I could rationalize the deficit of last year, and it was rational (yet stupid) for the government to expect that potash revenues would increase by 900% and that they could balance the budget based on it.

Having said that though, after reviewing the numbers (not just the propaganda the government puts out) I was satisfied that they did good this year.  I'm concerned that they are using an average price of almost $100 per barrel to estimate oil royalties, and an almost par dollar to estimate exchange,but I can't dispute that the US government won't do anything over the next year to actually strengthen their dollar and push us down again.

In the end though, it comes down to tax cuts (corporate down, personal credits up, education tax down) and a sprinkling of additional spending with the net result being a surplus budget - a real one.  Who could really have asked for more?

No comments:

Post a Comment