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Bill Kelly: Federal budget follows a familiar formula

Federal budget 2018: Preparing for next year’s election budget
Budget documents are political documents as much as fiscal ones. And there's a political reason why there's not a lot of new spending in this one. You can almost be sure there will be more goodies next year because it's an election year. Eric Sorensen reports.

To understand how and why federal budgets are crafted we have to accept the cold reality that the long-term goal of every governing party is to stay in power past the next election.

Don’t kid yourself; that’s been the strategy of every government since Confederation and Finance Minister Bill Morneau is continuing that tradition.

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One of the fastest growing and influential voting demographics in Canada is the millennials and there’s a lot in this budget that should interest them.

Gender parity in employment and wages, a national pharma-care program and even the enhancement to the parental leave program are crafted to appeal to young families who are trying to establish a work-family balance.

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Of course, not everyone is happy.

There will always be debate about things like infrastructure spending and corporate tax relief, but with Canada expected to lead the G7 nations in economic growth and with unemployment around 5 per cent, the government feels they can ease up on the economic incentive packages.

Besides, every government’s third-year budget is usually a “hold the line” budget, so that they’ll have some cash in reserve to pump into the election-year budget the year after.

Morneau is simply following a tried and true formula to put his government in a position to win next year.

Bill Kelly is the host of Bill Kelly Show on AM 900 CHML and a commentator for Global News