Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Good afternoon, Mr. Chair and members of the committee.
Thank you for the invitation to appear before the committee today.
We are pleased to be here today to discuss our analysis of the Government’s Expenditure Plan and Main Estimates for 2022-23 fiscal year, which was published on March 1, 2022 x.
With me today I have Kaitlyn Vanderwees, our lead analyst on the Estimates, and Christopher Penney, our lead analyst on defense issues.
The Main Estimates for 2022-23 fiscal year outlines $397.6 billion in budgetary authorities, $190.3 billion of which requires approval by Parliament. The first part of this money, about $75 billion, was approved through C-16 at the end of March.
Of note, proposed spending for the Indigenous portfolio will total $45.4 billion in these main estimates, which represents a 214 per cent increase over Indigenous-related budgetary expenditures in 2017-18. This significant increase is primarily related to the roughly $20 billion in compensation for First Nations children and their families.
Additionally, Federal spending on Elderly Benefits is set to increase by $6.7 billion, or approximately 10.9 per cent, to a total of $68.3 billion in 2022-23, and the Canada Health Transfer will grow by $2.1 billion, or 4.8 per cent, to $45.2 billion in 2022-23.
A concern that I would like to point out is that while the government refers to the main estimates as the government's expenditure plan, they generally do not include any measures in the corresponding budget, nor do the departmental plans, and therefore they present an incomplete picture of government spending.
As such, it hinders your ability to understand and scrutinize the government's funding requests, track new policy measures announced in the budget or identify the expected results of new budget measures. This committee has released recommendations in both 2012 and 2019 to remedy these shortcomings, notably to table the budget and main estimates concurrently with consistent information and present details of new spending presented in main and supplementary estimates in departmental plans as soon as possible.
I see no reason that they cannot be implemented. These changes would create a cohesive, intuitive and, critically, transparent financial decision-making process for legislators.
We'd be pleased to respond to any questions you may have regarding our analysis of the expenditure plan and main estimates for 2022-23 or other PBO work.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.