Can the Growth in Government Spending Really be Curbed?

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 71, No. 799, 1978

R. D. Brown, F.C.A., Price Waterhouse & Co., Toronto, Ontario

In his April 10, 1978 budget address, Finance Minister Chretien declared that the federal government will restrict the growth of its spending to less than the trend growth of the gross national product; over the past year, both the federal and a number of provincial governments have taken action to cut back on spending policies.This new emphasis in restraint would seem to be a response to a mounting public reaction to the rapid growth of government spending — and taxation — over the past 25 years.AIthough this relatively new government posture on public spending may be admired by many, to others it raises the question: "Can the growth in government spending really be stopped?"This article comments on just how government revenues — and spending — have grown over the past few years in Canada, and mentions some of the issues relating to a slowdown in that growth.