Montréal, March 5, 2020 – A few days before the 2020–2021 budget is tabled, expectations of the Quebec government are high. After posting the largest budget surplus in its history last year, and on its way to reaching its 2025 debt reduction targets early, the government looks to have enough budgetary room to manoeuvre that it can significantly boost spending. But this positive outlook conceals a worrisome fact: the government is still stuck with two major debts, one financial and the other in infrastructure, which are creating a serious imbalance in intergenerational equity.
“If we look at the surpluses of recent years in historical terms, we can see that Quebec’s public finances are not in such good shape as it might seem,” says Robert Gagné, Director of the Centre for Productivity and Prosperity – Walter J. Somers Foundation (CPP) and co-author of a study released today by the CPP. “Over the past ten years, the measures put in place to ensure intergenerational equity have largely failed, so much so that we should not be talking about what to do with government surpluses, but rather how to solve, once and for all, the equity issues we have faced for over 20 years now.” This is the study’s main conclusion.