Ignatieff simply does not want to commit himself to much of anything so he can leave his options open. As a result he appears wishy washy and he probably is exactly that on many issues. Ignatieff is sounding more and more like Harper with his warnings about deficits. As Harper says he also is concerned about long term structural deficits. So now it is the Liberals who will be scolding the Conservatives as big spenders who will create deficits. The two parties seem to have reversed roles.
Ignatieff won't speculate on acceptable size of deficit
Last Updated: Monday, January 19, 2009 3:20 PM ET
Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff, speaking after a Liberal caucus meeting in Ottawa on Monday, said he's 'not going to be boxed into a particular figure" when asked what he would consider to be a modest deficit. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)
Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff said any deficits incurred in the upcoming budget must be temporary, but refused to put a dollar figure on what he would consider too large.
Speaking to reporters in Ottawa after a caucus meeting Monday, Ignatieff said Canadians are allergic to deficits and that any deficit in the budget set to be tabled Jan. 27 should be temporary, modest and moderate.
But Ignatieff would not get specific when asked what he would consider to be a modest deficit.
"I know one when I see one, and I will know one when I see it next week. I’m not going to be boxed into a particular figure,” Ignatieff told reporters.
There have been reports that the next budget could run a deficit in the $30- billion range.
“I take a view of the ensemble of this budget. Does it protect the vulnerable? Does it save jobs today? Does it create jobs tomorrow? Those are three things I’m looking for.
“I’ve also made it clear that I’m very concerned about the size of the federal deficit that’s projected because I do not want to burden your children and mine with repayment," Ignatieff said.
Liberal leader opposed broad-based tax cuts
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said middle-income earners can expect some relief in the next budget.
Fearing permanent deficits, Ignatieff has said he opposes broad-based tax cuts, a possible stumbling block in getting Liberal support for the budget.
“We have concerns about broad-based middle-class tax cuts because we worry this will pitch the country into a deficit,” Ignatieff said Monday. “So there’s a clear difference of view between our view of this and the Conservatives."
Harper said Monday that he too shares Ignatieff's concerns about long-term deficits.
"It's important to stimulate the economy now and it's important to include the middle class in any plan to strengthen the economy. We're all on the same page."
He said the Liberal party has been "very general" in its budget demands.