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UPDATE 1-Canada PM confident he can avoid defeat on budget

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OTTAWA, Jan 26 (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper expressed confidence on Monday that his minority Conservative government would not be defeated in Parliament over the budget it will unveil on Tuesday.

“I feel pretty good about things. I think it’s a good budget. I think it’s what’s necessary,” he told CTV television in an interview, saying Canadians did not want an election so soon after the one held last October, and at a time when the economy is weakening.

Parliament is due to hold the first of several votes on the budget at around 6:30 p.m. (2330 GMT) on Thursday.

Harper needs the support of the opposition Liberals to pass the budget. Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff says he will announce his decision on the budget on Wednesday.

“I haven’t seen anything from the opposition ... that would convince me that they would do anything terribly differently,” Harper said.

The prime minister, repeating comments he made last week, said some of the proposed tax cuts would be permanent and said they would be affordable.

“Obviously we want to make sure that consumers are participating in this recovery,” he said.

Government officials have already let it be known that the deficit for the next two fiscal years will be C$64 billion ($52 billion).

“In the two years that follow that, provided the world economy does recover, we will come out of deficit very quickly,” Harper said.

“Quite frankly, our financial position long term will not deteriorate at all.”

$1=$1.22 Canadian Reporting by David Ljunggren; editing by Peter Galloway

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