|1. PREPARING OUR
Preparing Government's budget is similar to personal budgeting. Each year we have income and expenses. If expenses exceed income, the difference may be borrowed and paid back with interest. Government is limited in the amount it can borrow by its accumulated debt. An alternative for Government is to raise taxes. When expenses are greater than revenues, the difference is "the deficit".
All governments in Canada have found it necessary to reduce deficits. We also have reduced our deficit, while maintaining essential public services. It is important that we continue this progress.
Until last year, Government budgeted for one year at a time. During last year's consultations many spoke of the need for longer term planning. Government responded by providing the health care sector with a three year funding commitment. Government proposes to expand multi-year budgeting to as many parts of its operations and programs as possible.
During 1996 Government undertook program review to facilitate three year budgeting. This detailed examination of Government's operations weighed programs against three criteria: whether they are in the public interest, efficient and affordable. How would you apply these criteria to programs and services that affect you?
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