(Adds quotes from finance minister, background)
By David Ljunggren
WAKEFIELD, Quebec Aug 12 Canadian Finance
Minister Joe Oliver said on Tuesday he wanted to cut personal
taxes further in next year's budget, while also expressing
concern about what he called a still fragile global economy.
The Conservative government, which relied on large budget
deficits to help Canada avoid the worst of the recession,
projects it will have a surplus of C$6.4 billion in the 2015/16
The next federal budget is due in late February or early
March of 2015.
"We are going to have a budgetary surplus. We will be
focusing on reducing taxes to individuals," Oliver told
reporters ahead of a two-day policy retreat in the Quebec town
Asked whether this meant he wanted to cut federal income tax
rates, he replied: "That's what I'm looking at."
The Conservatives have cut taxes several times since they
took power in early 2006 and Oliver said the federal tax burden
was the lowest it has been for 50 years.
Oliver said the pro-business government would continue to
focus on economic growth.
He did concede that job creation figures for the last year
in Canada have been anemic, saying this in part was due to
exporters struggling with a sluggish world economy.
"Our economic future is not pre-determined. The global
economy remains fragile," he said, citing "worryingly low
inflation" in the Euro zone. He described the U.S. recovery as
Oliver also said the government was closely monitoring the
country's still strong housing market, but was not alarmed by
its growth. Some financial commentators forecast housing prices
could drop by up to 25 percent in the next few years.
(Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson, Meredith Mazzilli and Andre