Measures to buoy up business and pare down government are key to a federal budget that flatlines spending and ratchets down the deficit. Highlights of the Harper Conservatives’ second budget as a majority government:
• Production of the penny ends this fall, saving $11 million a year.
• Business stimulants include $1.1 billion in R&D funding, $500 million for venture capital and $205 million in small business hiring credits.
• Youth job skills training gets $50 million over two years.
• Spending cuts of $5.2 billion by 2014-15, through leaner government operations.
• Elimination of 19,200 federal jobs, 4.8 per cent of the workforce, to cost $900 million.
• Federal employees to make higher pension contributions and, after next election, MPs and senators may pay higher pension share.
• CBC’s $1.15-billion budget cut by 10 per cent over three years.
• Eligibility for Old Age Security rises to 67, beginning in 2023
• Employment Insurance reforms include $482 million over two years for work incentives.
• Deficit of $21.1 billion for 2012-13, projected to disappear by 2015.
• Total spending up 0.11 per cent to $276.1 billion, rising just 2.1 annually after that. Revenue of $255 billion in 2012-13.
The Hamilton Spectator