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Province likely to present budget deficit: economics professor

Last Updated Feb 20, 2018 at 8:10 am PDT

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Economics professor says budget deficit likely if NDP government wants to fund promises

VANCOUVER¬†(NEWS 1130) – With lots of promises to fulfill, the BC NDP’s budget on Tuesday is likely to be one that has a deficit.

That’s according to University of Victoria economics professor Elisabeth Gugl, who says while a surplus is ideal, it doesn’t tell the whole story.

“You can’t just judge a budget by whether or not is has a surplus or a deficit” she says. “And the Liberals often, I think, also tried to come up with numbers that looked better by selling off property that the government owned and it’s not clear that that is always a good idea.”

The former Liberal government often touted their budget surplus and frugal spending during the election.

“I can’t say that it’s always a good idea to run a surplus because it might also mean that you’re starving the programs on which people rely and that help us with providing a safety net,” Gugl says.

With affordable housing, real estate and childcare all areas the NDP government has pledged to fund, Gugl says the NDP may even be looking at an incease in taxes to follow through.

“Maybe not right now, but later on, in order to kind of balance the budget out.”