(QUEBEC) Couillard The government will soon begin a new round of mergers and abolition of agencies. These structures are changing, he believes, may assist in maintaining the balance of public finances in the long term.
In camera yesterday morning, before an audience of deputy ministers and agency heads, the President of the Treasury Board, Martin Coiteux, warned that a “second set of revisions of abolition and repositioning of structures [would] be announced shortly. ” This new cycle following that started in the budget last spring, when the merger of the Commission on health and safety at work and that the standards and pay equity in particular had been set in motion, and that the abolition of the Régie du cinéma, swallowed by the Ministry of Culture.
In front of the mandarins, the Minister Coiteux made a strong appeal for their support in this time of turmoil arrested, told us a participant. “The scale of structural changes depends on government leadership, but also the determination of each of you,” warned the Minister Coiteux. “With 98 billion budget, including 66 in program spending, I can not believe we can not deliver quality public services,” Mr Coiteux dropped. “We’re already at the bone with the cuts. We must now look at what can be done on the revenue side, “confided a government member.
Part of this game plan has to fall on the table of the Cabinet at their special meeting next Monday in Quebec. Everyone will go a presentation on its target cuts, the means to achieve it or why he could not reach it, a painful year for many of them.
The final decisions will be in the mini-budget the Finance Minister expected, for now, at the end of November.
Tobacco and confusion …
Already, up scenarios duties on tobacco circulate Finance. The Ministry of Health reavailed a special tax on sugary soft drinks, a recurring proposal that is invariably dismissed as too difficult to implement. Unlike last year, plus tax we do not talk about electronic cigarettes, now seen as a way to curb smoking.
To balance its 2015-2016 budget, the government is considering Couillard make cuts of 800 million. Most are identified, a huge order, given the fact that the fiscal year is well advanced. La Presse revealed this week that next year, one billion should be found. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Philippe Couillard seemed to confirm this information. Thus, for 2016-2017, the compression target was 850 million, plus some overruns.
“We had already identified the sums that were to be subject to review for 2016-2017, around 850 million. Then there are always some expenses exceeded in networks and ministries “had supported Mr. Couillard.
In economic development, we must expect a rationalization of sources of grants. The report Lucienne Robillard indicated that the financial assistance programs offered by Québec also deserve a clean sweep to end duplication. That is nearly $ 1 billion (900 million) that the government distributes annually to enterprises, direct or indirect assistance, thanks to 84 programs administered by 12 different ministries. Last year, we had discussed the scenario of a disappearance of the Société d’habitation du Québec, whose mission now under the Department of Municipal Affairs.
But restructuring operations set in motion recently generate a fair amount of confusion. The Deputy Minister for Employment, Bernard Matte, explained the proposed merger of the Quebec government offices in the regions before it was endorsed by the Council of Ministers. More ridiculous still, the presentation of Marc Croteau, Deputy Minister of Tourism, who announced a tax on packages traveling abroad, a scenario rejected on the spot by Philippe Couillard. The Council of Ministers had rejected this idea, but the message was not received clearly by Mr. Croteau, are we told La Presse.
In his speech, the Minister Coiteux also promised to “reduce the size of government and [to] seek more flexibility as in any modern organization.” Significant development in pharmacies, it now believes that the current round of negotiations with the public sector will conclude with an agreement, not a special law.
A personal intervention of the Minister of Health Gaétan Barrette, in recent days, managed to warm relations between virtually broken the Treasury Board and nurses. The union representing the Federation of interprofessional health Quebec, currently pending, had officially left the table last week. Union sources, however, indicated that the talks had never stopped. “There comes a time where you have to shake everybody. This is what Barrette “does one says. No way for Quebec to move on the salary proposal, but discussions on premiums, standard-setting, are continuing.