Liberals have in some respects ‘lost ground on fiscal transparency,’

Former parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page says, in some respects, the new Liberal government has backtracked on fiscal transparency in its 2016 budget.

Mr. Page said, when looking at certain aspects highlighted by the Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer—such as a large adjustment to private-sector economists’ forecasts, cost projections for two years rather than five, and a lack of reconciliation between the fall economic update and the budget released in March—the PBO is right in saying that this government has made understanding the budget and its implications harder than the previous Conservative government did.

“An argument could be made that we’ve lost ground on fiscal transparency,” Mr. Page told The Hill Times. “When you provide five-year economic projections but you really have no spending data on these new initiatives beyond year two, and you have these large forecast adjustments … those could be some half-steps backwards.”

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