Will Red-Ink Budgets Be a Thing of the Past? Challenges and Choices for Quebec

The Conference Board of Canada, 78 pages, March 18, 2015
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This report examines how Quebec could attain financial flexibility in the coming years and use budget surpluses without falling back into a cycle of debt.

This publication includes an English Executive Summary, followed by a French version of the full report.

Document Highlights

Thanks to favourable economic conditions and improving public finances, Quebec is the end of a long period of budgets that were awash in red ink. In the medium and long terms, Quebec could attain financial flexibility provided it is able to reduce growth in health care spending from 5.2 per cent to 4.2 per cent. For one of the few times in its history, Quebec could simultaneously maintain services at their current levels while reducing its debt load and achieving fiscal flexibility. This report examines ways the budget surpluses could be used, including paying down the public debt, providing tax relief for individuals and businesses, or launching new social programs or economic development projects.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Résumé

Chapitre 1—Vers la fin d’une période de budgets écrits à l’encre rouge

  • Contexte économique favorable
  • Vers l’atteinte de l’équilibre budgétaire
  • Défis démographiques du Québec

Chapitre 2—Contrôler les coûts des soins de santé pour dégager une marge de manœuvre respectable

  • Contrôler le coût des soins de santé : le nerf de la guerre
  • Situation budgétaire avec croissance des coûts des soins de santé de 4,2 % par année
  • Une marge suffisante pour contrer d’éventuels ralentissements économiques?

Chapitre 3—Que faire avec la marge de manœuvre dégagée?

  • Conclusion

Annexe A—Scénario 4

Annexe B—Multiplicateur fiscal

Annexe C

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