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Federal Budget 2023 | Ottawa will deny itself consultants

In response to critics who accuse it of spending Canadians’ money lavishly, the federal government has announced its intention to tighten the belt and save $12.8 billion over the next five years.

The bulk of these savings will come from the decline in the use of outside consultants and professional services, which have increased sharply in recent years, particularly to McKinsey’s benefit. Information to this effect has already been leaked in the media.

Since the Liberals came to power in Ottawa, fees paid for outside advisory services have increased by 95%, noted Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giraud.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland estimated in her budget on Tuesday that $7.1 billion in savings could be achieved over five years by reducing the use of outside consultants and travel.

Seven billion

Federal departments and agencies will also be put on a diet to reduce their spending by 3%. Ottawa intends to recoup $7 billion in expenditures in four years, without reducing services to the population.

The same order to cut spending by 3% would be sent to federal crown corporations, for an expected savings of $1.3 billion over the next four years.

The Trudeau government, which has been criticized for spending more than was necessary, is in a way aware that this is the case. Freeland’s budget proposes previously announced funding cuts as the money has not been spent or is no longer needed. “When implementation is slower than expected, adoption is weaker, or circumstances change, it makes sense to ensure that government resources are always directed to the most appropriate target,” the document states. Of this modification, 6.4 billion is expected to be available for federal firing, of which 3.4 billion will be recovered starting next year.

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The announced spending cuts in the budget will not prevent the federal deficit from being higher than expected in the fall fiscal update. The Minister of Finance then predicted a deficit of 30.6 billion for the fiscal year 2023-2024, while it will be 40.1 billion according to Tuesday’s budget.