National debt to hit $600B

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:20 PM ET

OTTAWA -- A taxpayer watchdog hammered the feds for their financial playbook on Friday and pointed to ballooning national debt set to surpass $600 billion this weekend.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) said Canada's national debt is now rising at a rate of $74.6 million daily and $3.1 million an hour.

CTF federal director Gregory Thomas said Prime Minister Stephen Harper promised to balance the books before the next federal election, but the government is failing to substantially slash spending.

Thomas also said stimulus spending during the 2008 recession was unnecessary.

The government recently revised figures to forecast a $1.8-billion deficit for 2015-16, not the $3.4-billion surplus projected in March.

The feds said the fiscal update included a $3-billion adjustment for risks linked to global economic uncertainty.

"We're committed to balanced budgets -- that's why we have significantly

reduced wasteful government spending," said Kathleen Perchaluk, a

spokeswoman for Finance Minister Jim Flaherty. "The federal debt -- measured

in relation to the size of the Canadian economy is falling."


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