OTTAWA - The Parliamentary Budget Office agrees with the Conservative government that Canada's finances are on track over the long term, following controversial changes to provincial health transfers and Old Age Security.
In fact, the independent budget office projects that Ottawa actually has a little more wiggle room to increase spending or cut taxes over the long haul than the Finance Department predicts.
It says that by the year 2050, Conservative policy changes will have reduced the net federal debt-to-GDP ratio by 78 percentage points.
Fiscal sustainability means the federal debt ultimately won't grow faster than the economy.
And while Ottawa's books appear to be on track looking out to mid-century, the PBO says it would like to see the federal government analyze provincial and territorial ledgers as well, in order to provide a consolidated look at the country's finances.
The budget office — run by Kevin Page, whose five-year term ends this spring — has frequently been at loggerheads with the Harper government.