Poilievre Would Cap Government Costs With Pay As You Go Law

Law would require a dollar of savings for each new dollar of spending

Ottawa, ON - Today, candidate for Prime Minister and MP Pierre Poilievre announced his plan to cap spending to make government affordable with a Pay-As-You-Go Law requiring that the government find a dollar of savings for every dollar of new spending measures.

Inflation just hit 7.7%. That’s the highest since 1983. JustInflation means Canadians are paying for a massive increase in the cost of government through wild inflation and taxes - and they can’t afford it anymore.

“The cost of government is driving up the cost of living,” said Poilievre. “Half-a-trillion dollars of inflationary deficits have bid up the cost of goods and inflationary taxes have increased the costs to businesses that make those goods. Why are deficits and taxes so high? To fund colossal spending increases”.

In 2015, the last year Stephen Harper was Prime Minister, the federal government cost $8,063 per person. Last year, it cost $11,370—adjusted for inflation. That’s a $3000 per person increase - or over $12,000 per family of four. The Liberals can’t blame it on the pandemic. The Parliamentary Budget Officer reports that over $200 billion in new federal spending measures passed in the last two years that have nothing to do with COVID programs.

Pay-As-You-Go Act would cap spending by requiring the government to find money for new measures within existing budgets, rather than increasing the debt and taxes. In order to introduce a new dollar of spending measures, the government would first need to find a matching dollar of savings. The law would exempt funding for national emergencies like wars, pandemics and natural disasters and spending increases that were previously budgeted (such as the annual growth in health transfers or military budgets) would not be impacted. However, new spending measures not previously budgeted would require matching savings.

“The great economist, Dr. Thomas Sowell said: ‘The first lesson of economics is scarcity: There is never enough of anything to satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.’ Politicians are the only creatures in the world that do not live with scarcity, because they can always put costs on to someone else in higher taxes, debt or inflation”, said Poilievre.

“Families and businesses already follow the Pay-As-You-Go Law every day. When they spend more on one thing, they spend less on another. A family budget can afford a $2,000 vacation or a $2,000 renovation. Not both. They must pick. Still better, they might go deal hunting to get their vacation down $1,000 and get surplus lumber from a local construction site to cut their costs. They can do both by getting bargains on each—but they can’t blow through their budget. That is life in the real world. The Pay-As-You-Go Law brings the real world to government. The people have been pinching their pennies long enough. It is time politicians started pinching their pennies too.”

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