Costing Budget 2019 Measures

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Costing Budget 2019 Measures.pdf

Summary

In September 2017 the Parliament of Canada Act was revised to expand the PBO’s mandate to include estimating the financial cost of election campaign proposals. 

In preparation for the upcoming 2019 federal general election, PBO used the Budget 2019 as an opportunity to assess its existing capacity to cost a variety of policy initiatives within a limited period.  This exercise relied, as much as possible, on the templates and processes described in PBO’s framework for estimating the financial cost of election campaign proposals. 

The Budget 2019 contained numerous new or extended fiscal initiatives.  PBO assessed the suitability of the measures for independent costing.  These were classified as one of two types: 

1) Measures of total spending envelopes, for which the government commits to allocating a specific amount of resources for a certain policy; or, 

2) Measures for which the ultimate cost may vary based on various assumptions. 

The second type of measures were considered for the Budget 2019 costing exercise, consistent with PBO’s electoral costing framework.  

PBO identified 16 Budget 2019 measures that were relevant to cost.  We were ultimately able to prepare estimates for 11 of these within the time period provided (see table below).  The independent cost estimates cover a six-year projection period starting in the 2018-19 fiscal year.

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