Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government is on track to spend nearly as much this year as Ottawa did to stimulate the economy at the height of the global recession, according to a new study.
The right-leaning Fraser Institute tracked inflation-adjusted annual per person government spending by prime ministers since Canada’s confederation. The public policy think-tank calculated Ottawa will spend $8,639 per person this year, $72 less than the record set by Stephen Harper in 2009.
The report found Trudeau’s government can lay claim to two of the top three highest years for government spending on record, outside of economic recession and war time.
“To see this high level of peacetime spending when the economy is also growing could spell trouble for Canadian taxpayers in the future,” Jason Clemens, executive vice-president of the Fraser Institute and co-author of report, wrote in a news release on Tuesday. “Higher spending often leads to higher deficits and more debt that ultimately must be paid by taxpayers.”
The analysis focused on government spending by prime ministers, excluding interest costs on government debt.