Alberta, BC Top Fiscal Performers
Ontario continues to be one of the worst fiscal performers in the country, dropping from third last year to sixth this year. How much longer is Dalton McGuinty going to keep pointing at previous governments for his poor performance? It's Ottawa's fault, it's the previous Progressive Conservative's fault, the stars aren't aligned right yet and the dog ate my homework. Anything but doing a little inward inspection.
Vancouver, BC - Alberta tops all the provinces and the federal government for its overall fiscal performance, according to the Fraser Institute’s annual Fiscal Performance Index, released today. The Index is published in the February 2006 Fraser Forum.
The Fiscal Performance Index measures the performance of the federal and provincial governments on twenty indicators of taxation, spending, and deficits and debt over the past five years (2000/01 to 2004/05). The Index also includes an overall fiscal performance score.
“Canadian governments must pursue sound fiscal policies such as controlled spending, balanced budgets, and sensible tax policy to ensure long term economic success.” said Niels Veldhuis, the Institute’s associate director of fiscal studies. “In preparing their annual budgets, governments should examine their fiscal performance relative to other jurisdictions and implement policies that enhance economic prosperity.”
For the ninth consecutive year, Alberta received the top score: 69.9 (out of a possible 100), followed by British Columbia (61.9) and the federal government (61.8). Prince Edward Island placed last with a score of 24.4 (see Table 1).
Also of note:
• British Columbia moved up two positions from fourth position last year to second this year. Over the past five years, BC has improved significantly, moving from ninth in 2002 to second in 2006.
• Ontario deteriorated the most, dropping three spots in the rankings from third last year to sixth this year. Only two years ago, Ontario ranked second in overall fiscal performance.
• New Brunswick and Newfoundland improved the most, each moving up three positions.
“While Alberta continues to set the standard for fiscal performance in Canada, BC has significantly improved and is quickly catching up” observed Veldhuis. “At the same time, Ontario’s fiscal performance has worsened in terms of government spending, taxation, and debts and deficits.”