Lies, damned lies and missing data

The Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) has released its report on Budget 2016 and CBC NewsNeil Macdonald has a few comments:

Wait, wait,” Mr Macdonald says,  “This can’t be. There must be some sort of mistake.

The Parliamentary Budget Office, the tenacious group of fiscal watchdogs who tangled repeatedly with the secretive regime of Stephen Harper, is now saying that the Trudeau government, which rode into office proudly flying the banner of transparency, is suppressing financial data and twisting and exaggerating the information it did provide in the recent federal budget.

In fact, in a document abruptly posted on its website this morning, the PBO effectively accuses the government of misleading taxpayers.”

He goes on to report that the PBO “seems to be suggesting that the entire budget rests on utterly unrealistic assumptions, and contains conclusions that rest on missing data PaulMartin2bill-morneau-02— data the government has, but is refusing to hand over to its own watchdogs.” With regard to “lowballed” growth forecasts ~ and old political trick played on us too often by Paul Martin ~ the PBO “quickly determined that earlier updates and statements by Finance Minister Bill Morneau, late last year and in February, couldn’t be squared with what appeared in the final budget document.” In other words he is saying one thing one day and something else another and expecting us to either believe both or just not notice. Further, the PBO “also noticed that while some parts of the budget made sweeping year-over-year assumptions looking forward all the way to 2020-21, including reassuring predictions of debt relative to the size of the economy, vital data had been deliberately left out of supporting documentation.” In short, it looks like the Trudeau government is trying to slip something past us.

Neil Macdonald notes that this new, “open” Liberal government is stonewalling the PBO even more than it, the PBO, complained that Prime Minister Harper did. Good on CBC News for reporting on this; shame on the government for trying to hide the truth from Canadians.

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