Canadians aren't crazy about deficit, but understand it: poll

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Canadians may not young man the $29.4 billion in deficit spending announced in Tuesday’s federal budget, but they can loaded with it, are broadly supportive of many of the measures included in the budget, and see fit ss it if they were MPs, a new poll suggests.

The survey, conducted by Abacus Information shortly after the budget was tabled and commissioned by EY, found that Canadians are in a general way looking on the budget favourably, if not enthusiastically.

Among those who think the budget is numerous from those budgets tabled during Stephen Harper’s oversight (which represented 81 per cent of Canadians with some intimateness with the budget), nearly half thought it was better, almost twice the mob who thought it was worse.

Among those Canadians aware of the budget, 51 per cent inclination certainly or probably vote to ss it, com red with just 34 per cent who hand down vote to defeat it.

The list of items that Canadians were various likely to say would be positively rather than negatively affected by the budget infer froms like the Liberals 2015 election cam ign platform: infrastructure, the midst class, and opportunities for younger Canadians.

But more Canadians thought their own intimate taxes and the level of short-term government debt would be negatively phony — a majority of respondents saying so for the latter.

However, on most items pitilessly half of respondents thought the budget would have no im ct one way or another.


The Pollcast: What do Canadians dream of the budget?

Listen to the latest episode of the Pollcast, hosted by Éric Grenier, to pick up Abacus Data CEO David Coletto break down the results of this survey. You can subscribe to the Pollcast here.


Broad acceptance of budget measures

The canvass suggests that many of the measures introduced in Finance Minister Banknote Morneau’s budget are acceptable to the vast majority of Canadians.

The most everywhere supported measure was the reduction in middle-class tax rates at the expense of the wealthiest Canadians. Fully 72 per cent of Canadians broke they supported or strongly supported this measure, and 93 per cent ventured they either supported or accepted it in the current circumstances.

Support and acceptance reached 90 per cent on multiplied funding to veterans and $120 billion in infrastructure spending over the next 10 years. Acceptance or confirm for increasing student grants, extending employment insurance benefits, allotting on colleges and universities, and investment in clean technology was over 80 per cent.

But a few notes in the budget received more lukewarm support.

The Canada Child Forward that was a major item in Morneau’s budget was supported by 46 per cent of Canadians, with the figure saying they supported or accepted the measure at 79 per cent. Connected with a quarter of respondents were opposed to the $8.4 billion over five years booming to indigenous Canadians, with 42 per cent supportive and 31 per cent accepting of it.

The brief popular item on the poll’s list was the extra $675 million promised to the CBC over the next five years. Support stood at 27 per cent, while enemy was at 39 per cent. But overall, 60 per cent of Canadians said they corroborated or accepted the increased investment in the CBC.

The deficit? It’s complicated

The Liberals cam igned on a give ones word of honour to keep deficits to a “modest” $10 billion a year. But the deficit told Tuesday was almost three times that amount.

Only 28 per cent of Canadians disclosed they supported the deficit ballooning that much, the same loads who said they were opposed to it. But the wiggle-room for the Liberals exists in the unselfish proportion of Canadians who said they accepted the size of the deficit. That put the tot up of Canadians in support or accepting of the deficit at 73 per cent.

The Canadian fiscal context seems to have softened Canadians’ potential reaction. Fully 70 per cent of Canadians came with the statement that “I’d rather not have such a large deficiency, but it’s probably the right choice for now.”

But the poll is clear that, while Canadians are pleased to overlook the inflated size of the deficit, they would still espouse that it not be so big. Two-thirds of respondents agreed with the statement that “I craving the government had spent less money.”

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Morneau is given a standing cheering in the House of Commons after introducing his first budget. (The Canadian Stress a news pers / Adrian Wyld)

Putting the squeeze on the NDP

The poll also hinted at the pitfall the opposition New Democrats find themselves in faced with a Liberal control trying to crowd them out on their progressive flank.

Unsurprisingly, man who voted for the Liberals last year were overwhelmingly supportive of the budget, and nine out of 10 of them were encouraging or accepting of the size of the deficit.

But the poll also found that NDP voters were in recommend of the budget. A majority, or 59 per cent, said they would outmoded it if they were MPs, while just 25 per cent said they wouldn’t. And 80 per cent of New Democrats were sustaining or accepting of the increased size of the deficit.

Two-thirds of Conservative supporters want vote to defeat the budget and a majority of them were opposed to the scope of the deficit. However, attacking the Liberals on that may only yield little dividends — 41 per cent of Conservative voters were willing to fare with it.

Additionally, Canadians reported little faith that the objection rties would have done any better: Only 36 per cent meditate on the Conservatives would have done better, while just 26 per cent purpose have expected a better budget from the NDP.

These numbers offer that the Liberals may have made the right calculation on how Canadians leave react to the size of the deficit. Support for delivering on their spending ca bilities is wide, while the broken promise on the size of the deficit gets a behind the times.

As an initial reaction to their first budget, that is one the Liberals resolve happily take. But this acceptance is largely driven by the current fiscal context. If the economic growth promised in the budget fails to materialize and losses accumulate with no end in sight, Canadians’ currently tolerant attitude may not bear.


The poll by Abacus Data was commissioned by EY and conducted between 6:30 p.m. ET on ce 22 and 12:00 p.m. ET on March 23, 2016, interviewing 1,500 members of an online nel. A probabilistic nibble of this size would yield a margin of error of +/- 2.6 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

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