Parliamentary Budget Office suggests government is only spending half of infrastructure budget

The federal government is under budget on recent infrastructure spending, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future, according to a new report from the office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO). The report examines spending beginning from the 2007 Budget, and details expected expenditures through 2023-24.
In the 2007 Budget, the Government allocated $30 billion dollars for federal infrastructure expenditure between 2007-08 and 2013-14, when spending was expected to peak. The government’s actual expenditures fall well below this mark, at about $25 billion. Much of the discrepancy results from expenditure delays in the Building Canada Fund, which was allocated $8.8 billion dollars to spend by the end of 2014, but is projected to spend only $4.4 billion. The government credits the gap to project delays.
The report, which came at the behest of Parkdale-High Park MP Peggy Nash, also looks forward to the coming decade. It estimates that “approximately $45 billion is required to fund infrastructure at existing levels for ten years, from 2014-15 through 2023-24.” The 2013 Economic Action Plan (EAP) would provide $47 billion dollars in new and renewed funding over this time, in addition to $6 billion to be provided through existing program funding between 2014-15 and 2018-19. That amounts to $53 billion dollars, some of which has been transferred over from the $4.5 billion that the Building Canada Fund was unable to spend.

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