On March 21, 2023, Finance Minister Éric Girard presented Québec's 2023-2024 budget. In addition to fulfilling several campaign promises, this budget is anchored in two major realities: the threat of an impending recession and an inflationary surge that is not yet under control.
On March 21, 2023, Finance Minister Éric Girard presented Québec's 2023-2024 budget. This is the first exercise since last October's election. In addition to fulfilling several campaign promises, this budget is anchored in two major realities: the threat of an impending recession and an inflationary surge that is not yet under control.
This is eroding the purchasing power of Quebecers. Add to this the uncertainty of the international context and the possible increase in electricity rates, and this year's exercise was perilous. In his approach, Minister Girard understands his role as a facilitator of the government's agenda and, in this year's budget, avoids encroaching on the responsibilities of his colleagues.
The government's response to inflation is once again in the form of new spending. We are talking about one billion dollars for affordable housing.
Québec is not officially anticipating a recession, but its economic growth forecasts of 0.6% in 2023 and 1.4% in 2024 are not very reassuring, so growth is expected to be lower than spending growth. Moreover, the presentation of an alternative plan in the event of a recession raises fears of a sharper-than-expected slowdown. Fears of runaway inflation and successive interest rate hikes, coupled with labour shortages, could complicate Québec's task in any economic recovery.
For more information on the 2023-2024 Québec budget, you can consult it online here (at the moment, only a French version is available. An English version will follow in the coming days).
Quebec Advocacy Update
We submitted our pre-budget brief in January with the following requests:
- Increase tax rebate when buying a newly built home;
- Put forward legislation and regulations to reduce possibilities for real estate brokers to cut deals with banking lenders, thus circumventing the whole mortgage brokerage industry;
- Give access to some fiscal documents to brokers in order to validate and verify revenue levels of home buyers;
- Contribute to expand the insurance market to reduce pressure on brokerages and on brokers themselves, and;
- Promote and facilitate construction of new residential units.
We will continue to push the federal and provincial governments for policies that help ease housing related cost pressures, to help Canadians to achieve the dream of homeownership and stay in their homes.