We can't say that the Minister of Finance, Eric Girard, has the compass in his eye!
During the presentation of his budget for 2021-2022, in March 2021, Minister Girard planned to end this fiscal year with a deficit of $9.2 billion, before transferring money to the Generations Fund.
Result ? He finally closed the 2021-2022 fiscal year with – hold on tight – a budget surplus of $3.32 billion. Which gives a “monstrous” budget forecast gap of $12.5 billion!
How did it come to this?
In terms of revenue, the Legault government pocketed additional revenue of $16.8 billion in 2021-2022 compared to Minister Girard's initial forecasts. This is 13.7% more than expected. We agree that this is a “generous” difference in favor of the Legault government.
This revenue surplus includes additional revenue of $13.3 billion in tax revenue (taxes, duties, fees, permits, etc.), additional revenue of $1.27 billion from government enterprises (Hydro- Québec, Loto-Québec, Investissement Québec, etc.) and an additional amount of federal transfer of $2.24 billion.
On the government expenditure side, we note additional expenditure (portfolios, measures anti-COVID-19) in the order of $4.27 billion compared to budget forecasts.
Minister Eric Girard attributed the improvement in Quebec's budget situation to the strong economic recovery in the province.
THE FLOP OF 2020-2021
This is not the first time that Minister Girard has failed in his budget forecasts. I remind you that his 2020-2021 budget had become downright obsolete… just a few days after being tabled.
When presenting his budget on March 10, 2020, Girard ignored of the pandemic, which was beginning to wreak havoc in Quebec. It expected to end the fiscal year with a budget surplus of $2.7 billion (before transferring money to the Generations Fund).
He and the monks of the Ministry of Finance had to be really disconnected from reality. Because barely three days later, François Legault triggered the health emergency and the paralysis of several sectors of the economy.
Minister Girard was forced to redo his classes, and he tabled a budget update three months later in which he intended, this time, to end the 2020-2021 financial year with a spectacular deficit of $12.4 billion.
Finally, it ended the 2020-2021 fiscal year with a deficit of $4.2 billion, or $8.2 billion less than its revised forecast! < /p>
THE CURRENT FISCAL YEAR…
As part of the 2022-2023 budget tabled last March, the Legault government fundraiser has projected a deficit of around $3 billion.
It's a safe bet that Minister Girard has once again underestimated his revenue forecasts. He has forecast total revenues of $138.5 billion for the 2022-2023 fiscal year, nearly $1 billion less than the revenues received in 2021-2022!
Hurry up to see the pre-election report on the state of Québec's public finances which will be published in mid-August in view of the imminent election campaign.
Katrine Johns has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Gal Post, Katrine Johns worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my email@example.com 1-800-268-7128