Introductory Overview

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty characterized this budget as "Responsible Leadership for Uncertain Times". The focus of this budget was on spending with only a few tax-related items, most of which are of little consequence to the majority of Canadians. The most significant of these is the new Tax-Free Savings Plan which is discussed elsewhere in this issue. Debt reductions continue, but at a significantly reduced pace. The roughly $10 billion slated for debt reduction this fiscal year reduces to approximately $2.3 billion next year and $1.3 billion the following year. Many were disappointed that no provision for the deferral of capital gains, originally promised in the last election, this provision was expected by many to be implemented in this budget.