All Reports

Federal Spending on Postsecondary Education

PBO estimates that in 2013-14, total federal spending on postsecondary education reached $12.3 billion. Taking into account recent Budget 2016 announcements, PBO estimates total federal spending on postsecondary education will exceed $15.7 billion by 2020-21. Over the past ten years, federal postsecondary spending targeted towards human capital formation has disproportionately benefitted wealthier families. This was due to a growing share of federal support provided through the tax system in particular and Registered Education Savings Plans.

Canada’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Developments, Prospects and Reductions

PBO looks at Canada’s commitment at COP21 in Paris and reports on its potential economic impact, both in aggregate and by sector. PBO estimates the reduction in emissions needed to achieve the 2030 target by combining historical trends in intensity of emissions with the PBO’s projection of the economy to 2030. We discuss how major sources of GHG emissions such as cars and trucks will have to be made at least a third more fuel-efficient, as will the electricity generation sector (almost two thirds), and oil & gas extraction (about a quarter), in order to meet the targets. The technologies to achieve those reductions are already available, but deploying them will lead to a mildly slower rate of income growth as cheap sources of energy will have to be replaced by moderately more expensive ones.

Economic and Fiscal Outlook - April 2016

This report responds to the 4 February 2016 Standing Committee on Finance motion. It incorporates data available up to and including 12 April 2016.

Expenditure Monitor 2015-2016 Q3

This note analyses the implementation of the Government’s spending plan presented in Budget 2015 for the first nine months of the year.

Updated Table - Budget 2016: Key Issues for Parliamentarians

PBO has updated Summary Table 2 (Table 1-2) presented in its 6 April 2016 report Budget 2016:  Key Issues for Parliamentarians as a result of receiving requested information from Finance Canada.

Budget 2016: Key Issues for Parliamentarians

To assist parliamentarians in their budgetary deliberations, this report identifies key issues arising from Budget 2016:  1) the presentation of the fiscal plan; 2) the Government’s adjustment to the private sector economic assumptions underlying its fiscal plan; and, 3) Finance Canada’s estimates of the economic impacts of budget measures.

The Government’s Expenditure Plan for 2016-17

This note presents detailed analysis of the federal government’s Expenditure Plan and Main Estimates for 2016-17, which supports the first two appropriation bills that will seek Parliaments approval for almost $90 billion.

2015-16 Supplementary Estimates (C)

This note presents detailed analysis of the third supplement to the Government’s Main Estimates for the 2015-16 fiscal year.

Estimate of the Average Annual Cost for Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements due to Weather Events

PBO estimates that the average annual cost to the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements (DFAA) due to weather events over the next five years is $902 million. Three-quarters of this cost is due to floods. The average annual cost for the previous five and 10 years had been $850 million $489 respectively. Over the past 10 years, weather events on the Prairies have been responsible for 81% of the DFAA costs.

Expenditure Monitor 2015-2016 Q2

Total government expenditures for the first half of 2015-16 were $124.7 billion, an increase of 5.5 per cent over the same period last year.

The Fiscal and Distributional Impact of Changes to the Federal Personal Income Tax Regime

PBO estimates that the introduction of the new 33 per cent personal income tax (PIT) rate and the reduction of the
second tax rate to 20.5 per cent will reduce PIT revenues by $0.4 billion in 2015-16 and about $1.7 billion annually
on average from 2016-17 to 2020-21. Reducing the first personal income tax rate from 15.0 to 14.0 per cent would
reduce PIT revenue by $0.9 billion in 2015-16 and about $4.1 billion on average annually from 2016-17 to 2020-21.
Introducing the new tax bracket for taxable income over $200,000 at a rate of 33.0 per cent will primarily affect the
top 1.4 percent of taxpayers. The second bracket change will affect the top 30 percent of taxpayers, while a
reduction in the first bracket would affect the top 60 percent of taxpayers.

Household Indebtedness and Financial Vulnerability

This report reviews the evolution of household indebtedness in Canada and assesses prospects for household financial vulnerability over the medium term.

2015-16 Supplementary Estimates (B)

The Parliamentary Budget Officer’s (PBO) legislative mandate includes research and analysis regarding the Government’s Estimates. The Supplementary Estimates (B) 2015-16 request an additional $810 million of voted appropriations from Parliament, and outlines an additional $3 million in statutory spending.

An Assessment of the Government’s Fiscal Outlook

PBO’s assessment is that the Government’s outlook for the economy and federal budget over the medium term is optimistic. Based on forecast comparisons and forecast revisions, PBO believes that there is downside risk to the Government’s medium-term outlook for the budgetary balance in the fiscal years 2019-20 and 2020-21.

Estimate of financial support provided to disabled Veterans under the New Veterans Charter

The cost of a combat mission continues beyond the point at which the Canadian Armed Forces have withdrawn from the operational theatre. Arguably the most important post-combat cost is that of caring for Canada’s ill and injured Veterans. The intent of this analysis is to ensure that these post-combat costs come as no surprise to parliamentarians.  This report does not incorporate any changes proposed by the new government.

Why Does the Government Lapse Money and Why Does It Matter?

In 2013-14, the Government’s actual spending was $9.3 billion lower than budgeted; it corresponded
to lower-than-estimated spending on programs such as veterans’ benefits, national defence and capital 
infrastructure projects.

Budget 2015 anticipates that the amount of unspent money will fall over the next five years. New PBO
analysis suggests that this may not be the case. If so, it is expected that this would result in lower-than-
projected program spending, creating additional fiscal flexibility.

Labour Market Assessment 2015

The Canadian labour market has generally improved over the past year but there is still underutilization of labour in some regions, sectors and among some groups of workers. 

November 2015 Economic and Fiscal Outlook

PBO projects a sluggish recovery for the Canadian economy as it adjusts to lower commodity prices and rebalances—shifting away from consumer spending and housing toward exports and business investment. Based on Budget 2015 measures only, PBO projects annual deficits averaging $4.3 billion (0.2 per cent of GDP) over 2016-17 to 2020-21. Federal debt is projected to fall from 31 per cent of GDP in 2014-15 to 26.2 per cent by 2020-21.

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
-2016 -2017 -2018 -2019 -2020 -2021
Budgetary balance ($ billions) 1.2 -3.0 -4.7 -5.0 -4.6 -4.2
Federal debt ratio (% of GDP) 30.8 29.9 28.8 27.9 27.1 26.2

New Website!

The PBO is proud to present our newly designed website and template format.

Updated Analysis of Performance Budgeting During Recent Fiscal Consolidation

This report examines the influence of program performance on budgetary changes during the recent period of fiscal consolidation, from 2010-11 to 2013-14   [PDF]