Stockwell Day has set the Ottawa hive abuzz with air of spending cuts and trims to the civil service. This is welcome news as the Conservatives will have no choice but to reduce program spending below what it is expected to reach after “stimulus” funds have been fully thrown away come the end of 2010-11.
The only numbers to emerge thus far are limiting civil service wage increases to 1.5%. While a 1.5% increase in wages is certainly an accomplishment when compared with the government’s average 6% increase in total program spending since 2003, it will only be effective in any sense if it is accompanied by across-the-board freezes in programs that the government wishes to maintain, and significant cuts and even eliminations in other areas.
Those “other areas” might include phasing out the near $15 billion in annual equalization payments, or $5 billion in the low hanging fruit of corporate welfare (pre-bailouts) that the CTF has specifically identified in its Deficit Action Plan.
cross-posted at taxpayer.com