Le ministre des finances Carlos Leitão est solide

Un article intéressant de la Gazette.


Quebec is slowing spending but it's a far cry from European-style austerity

Peter Hadekel, Special to Montreal Gazette, December 3, 2014

The A-word has become the dirty word that everyone loves to utter in Quebec. It’s easy to get thousands of people to demonstrate in the streets against “austerity” when they don’t really grasp the concept.

Want austerity? Try Greece, Spain or Portugal or any other European economy that’s been pushed to the wall. We’re not there in Quebec.

Il a tout à fait raison, vous n’avez aucune idée ce qu’est vraiment de l’austérité, demandez au Grec où le régime est devenu un régime totalitaire devant la gronde du peuple.

L’Espagne et le Portugal ont été sauvés du même cauchemar grec grâce à la BCE qui a émis des trillions de crédits sur du vent pour racheter grâce aux banques locales leurs obligations de pacotille.

Tuesday’s fiscal update reminded us we’re still big spenders in this province. In the midst of what some people call austerity, the government is spending $11.5 billion on infrastructure improvements in 2014-15.

Remember that the Couillard government quickly rejected last month’s report from a specially appointed commission recommending $2.3 billion of cuts to public spending.

And remember, too, that program spending next year will top $87 billion, which will represent an increase of 0.8 per cent.

The phrase that best captures what’s happening isn’t very austere. It’s on Page 3 of the update and it’s called “disciplined spending management.” But just try to organize a demonstration around those words.

Okay, it’s true that reaching a zero deficit next year trumps all other objectives for this government — economic growth, job creation, you name it. And they’re squeezing businesses and taxpayers a little bit more, to the tune of $600 million, to get there.

They’re sticking to their target because they’re worried about losing the confidence of the institutional lenders who finance Quebec’s $271 billion debt (a figure that includes all the public sector entities for which the government is ultimately responsible).

When you owe a lot of money and your credit rating gets knocked down, it’s a painful and expensive experience. And if “disciplined spending management” is the way forward for now, then prosperity is temporarily on hold.

Évidemment, le peuple ne comprend pas, cela fait plus de 30 ans qu’ils reçoivent des services et des privilèges que nous n’avons jamais eu les moyens en utilisant constamment le crédit de nos enfants.

D’autant plus, quand nous regardons froidement les 6.2 millions de contribuables, seulement 25 % de la population sont de véritables générateurs de richesse, alors le ¾ voudrait continuer ce petit jeu à l’infini, par contre il y a un hic.

Le hic, le crédit n’est pas infini, un jour le crédit se tarit, et on se fait taper sur les doigts par les financiers, et dites-vous à partir de ce moment, ce n’est pas jojo.

Soyez réalistes, 271 milliards de dettes pour 2,4 millions de véritables contribuables avec le deuxième plus gros problèmes démographiques au monde, on s’en va totalement dans le mur.

There’s very little room for the government to slow down on spending and stimulate the weak economy at the same time. They’re leaving that task to the private sector.

Unfortunately, the private sector hasn’t kept the rendezvous. Stéfane Marion, chief economist at the National Bank, notes that net private-sector employment has fallen by 30,000 in the province so far this year while Ontario has added 80,000 such jobs.

Évidemment, les entrepreneurs sont totalement découragés devant l’attitude du Québec depuis des décennies, un environnement d’affaire qui n’est pas compétitif par rapport aux autres provinces et États américains, juste la masse salariale en est un exemple.

Alors, ils baissent les bras, ne pas oublier, ce sont eux qui créent la véritable richesse, non l’État.

Marion points to lingering fallout over the bitter charter of values debate under the preceding Parti Québécois government. Quebec lost a net 10,000 people last spring to interprovincial migration — the worst outflows since 1995-96. That didn’t help the job market

Je le dis souvent aux jeunes, quand ils me posent la question, dois-je rester au Québec ?

SAUVEZ-VOUS !

Car le Québec va devenir un gros hôpital pour petit vieux qui va constamment chialer, car ils n’ont pas assez de service.

Quand la population n’a eu aucune morale d’emprunter assidûment le crédit de leurs enfants, les enfants n’ont pas plus de morale de rester au Québec.

Et je leur souhaite bonne chance, bien souvent, ce sont les plus brillants qui partent, ce n’est pas unique du Québec, demander aux Portugais et aux Espagnols où les jeunes s’exilent vers l’Allemagne, la seule différence, les nôtres prennent l’autobus et n’ont même pas besoin de passeport.

On the plus side, the economy does seem to be improving and stimulus is coming from other sources. Exports to the U.S. and Ontario are growing at a healthy clip, the cheaper Canadian dollar is a boost to manufacturers and lower oil prices are an added bonus to both businesses and consumers.

Marion figures that Quebecers have received a $300-million break at the gas pump so far this year as prices have declined. That will ease the pain from an expected two-cents-per-litre jump in gas prices in the New Year to cover the cost to distributors of Quebec’s new cap-and-trade system for carbon emissions.

And if you can believe Finance Minister Carlos Leitão, the pain is about to end for taxpayers who are tired of paying more and receiving less.

Most of the measures needed to go from the current-year deficit of $2.3 billion to a balanced budget have already been identified, he said. Another $1.1 billion will still have to be found in the budget next spring.

It’s about time, says Norma Kozhaya, chief economist at the Conseil du patronat du Québec which represents the province’s largest employers. Quebec has reached the limit on what it can absorb in the way of further tax increases and spending cuts, she argued.

Kozhaya is worried about slow growth in the economy, pegged at 1.6 per cent this year and 1.9 per cent in 2015. “What’s important is to get more revenue from economic growth and not from new taxes and fees.”

She would like to hear more of a pro-investment discourse from the Couillard government, especially when it comes to natural resources.

In the meantime, there’s always 2017-18 to look forward to. That’s when Leitão talks boldly of a surplus and maybe even a tax cut — in what will be an election year.