With budget due in two weeks, Liberals cast doubt on CAQ ability to pay for promises
Published Thursday, March 7, 2019 1:14PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, March 7, 2019 1:53PM EST
The Coalition Avenir Quebec will present their first budget since coming to power in two weeks but a former finance minister said the administration will have to endure a tough balancing act.
Liberal Carlos Leitao, who was finance minister for four years under former premier Philippe Couillard, said the CAQ will have tough decisions to make after campaign promises such as making free pre-k available to four-year-olds throughout the province.
Leitao also pointed to several major infrastructure projects that are underway as potential spots that will require lots of resources.
While the CAQ defeated the incumbent Liberals in October’s election, Leitao held onto his seat in the National Assembly. He called for discipline and transparency in the budget, with investments in public services while also maintaining a balanced budget.
He called the CAQ’s election promises “unrealistic.”
“I don’t think there’s enough financial resources to do both, maintain a balanced fiscal approach over four years while at the same time finance all the promises without increasing taxes,” he said. “That’s the conundrum and I believe in the name of transparency and clarity in the coming budget, they should tell us what their priorities are and how they intend to go about funding their promises.”
The budget will be tabled on March 21.