Harper says still plans balanced budget by 2015 election

OTTAWA Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:51pm EST

OTTAWA Nov 16 (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Friday he still plans to balance the government's budget by the next election in October 2015, even though the Conservative government's formal forecast this week showed deficits until 2016-17.

"It remains the government's plan, intention, to balance the budget prior to the next federal election. The recent economic and fiscal update by the minister indicates we are actually very close to that objective," Harper told reporters in Quebec City.

"To the extent that we're not quite where we want to be, that is not due to the federal government's management of its own expenditures. Our own expenditures are on track exactly where we thought they'd be. Revenue is somewhat down in recent months because of the recent slowing of the global economy. But our position remains that we will continue to restrain expenditures and we will balance the budget without tax increases."

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