Tories urge Liberals to fulfil vows to trim deficit to $10B, balance next year

The Conservatives are calling on the Trudeau government to follow through on its 2015 election promise to keep this year’s deficit at no more than $10 billion.

With Finance Minister Bill Morneau poised to release his fall economic statement later today, Tory MP Pierre Poilievre is also urging the government to fulfil another campaign vow to balance the books by next year.

Morneau’s update is expected to take advantage of this year’s unexpectedly strong economy to announce more money for kids and the working poor, along with shrinking deficits in the coming years.

The minister says the document will be a good news update _ but he’s suggested the government will continue its deficit-spending approach and focus instead on lowering the debt-to-GDP ratio.

The Liberals are also counting on the update to draw attention away from their embattled finance minister, who has been forced to fend off conflict-of-interest accusations largely related to his multimillion-dollar corporate holdings.

Sources, who were not authorized to speak publicly, say the government will announce enhancements to the Canada child benefit by increasing it along with the cost of living. They say Ottawa will also bolster the working income tax benefit, a refundable tax credit aimed at providing relief for low-income Canadians who have jobs and encouraging those who don’t to join the workforce.