More than $200M unspent in veterans budget last year

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Over $1.1 billion in unspent funds at Veterans Affairs since 2006 !!!

Post by Trooper on Wed 19 Nov 2014, 18:40

OTTAWA -- Veterans Affairs Canada has returned $1.13 billion to the federal treasury in unspent funds since the Conservatives came to power in 2006 -- cash that critics say should have gone towards improved benefits and services.

The figure, which surfaced this week in the House of Commons, has led to renewed criticism of the Harper government, which is already smarting over its frayed relations with disgruntled former soldiers.

Data tabled in the House in response to a written question shows roughly one-third of the so-called lapsed funds were handed back between the 2011 and 2013 budget years when the government was engaged in a massive deficit-cutting drive.

The Conservatives often trumpet how much the budget for veterans care has gone up under their watch -- right now it's about $3.4 billion a year, up from $2.8 billion when the Tories took office.

What they don't say is that anywhere between 4.7 per cent and 8.2 per cent of the total allocation has been allowed to lapse because of the department's inability or reluctance to spend it all, said NDP veterans critic Peter Stoffer.

Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino met Wednesday in Quebec City with select organizations representing ex-soldiers, but some of the loudest critics of the department's spending on benefits and services were not invited.

On Tuesday, Stoffer put a pointed question about the lapsed funds to Fantino, who answered by tallying up the government's total spending on the veteran's department -- roughly $30 billion since 2006.

"It means improved rehabilitation for Canadian veterans," Fantino said. "It means more counselling for veterans' families. It means more money for veterans' higher education and retraining. It means we care deeply about our veterans."

But that didn't answer the question of why so much of the budget has been allowed to lapse, said Stoffer, noting that the overall budget of the department is something the government is committed to under the law.

The use of lapsed funding to reduce the federal deficit is an exercise that's being practised across all departments, he added.

"The deputy ministers ... have obviously been told by the higher-ups that, 'This money has to come back to us in order for us to have our books balanced, and that way we can use that money for other purposes, like income-splitting."'

Over the last two fiscal years, all federal departments allowed more than $18 billion in budgeted funding to lapse, according public accounts figures released at the end of October.

Frank Valeriote, the Liberal veterans critic, said ex-soldiers who've been denied benefits will look at the unspent funds and feel "hoodwinked, completely abandoned" and wonder why they've made sacrifices for their country.

"It is reprehensible and unconscionable what they're doing so that the government can create an image of fiscal responsibility," he said.

The Quebec City meeting came on Wednesday at a time when multiple Conservative sources say there is concern that the party's reliable support in the veterans community is bleeding away because of the loud and prolonged battle.

The sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, say there is growing frustration within the party over Fantino's apparent inability to forge positive relationships with veterans, unlike his predecessor, Steven Blaney.

Beyond veterans, long considered a natural constituency for Conservatives, there are signs the Tories are in trouble with ordinary Canadians on the issue. A newly released internal poll on public perceptions of the Canadian Forces suggests the treatment of veterans was registering strongly with respondents.

"Problems that veterans face (42 per cent) and soldiers returning home (29 per cent) were top of mind for many Canadians when asked what they recalled about the (Canadian Armed Forces)," said the Phoneix Strategies Perspectives survey, conducted last May, but released by National Defence online this week

The survey of 2,025 people found more than two-thirds (67 per cent) of those asked recalled recently seeing, reading, or hearing about issues faced by returning soldiers or their families.

That's a significant increase over 48 per cent of respondents to a similar poll conducted in 2012.

Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/over-1-1-billion-in-unspent-funds-at-veterans-affairs-since-2006-documents-1.2110024#ixzz3JYr4C65G

Now it's official, this is why Veterans are upset, not looking good for the Government, give us back our money !!!
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Re: More than $200M unspent in veterans budget last year

Post by teentitan on Thu 20 Nov 2014, 13:12

Yeah but the books are balanced going into a federal election next year. Normally I would add an LOL but this is not a LOL situation.
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Re: More than $200M unspent in veterans budget last year

Post by RobbieRoyal on Thu 20 Nov 2014, 17:00

indeed not a lol or a like button
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Re: More than $200M unspent in veterans budget last year

Post by RobbieRoyal on Thu 20 Nov 2014, 17:11

but these figured are doctored as are the electoral platforms and frankly i for one am sick of being lied to
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Re: More than $200M unspent in veterans budget last year

Post by Trooper on Thu 20 Nov 2014, 17:30

This issue was all over the news today, and dominated question period.

Don Leonardo was interviewed on CTV news with Don Martin this evening.

Mr. Leonardo spoke well on the issue, and was also asked about the Quebec meeting about why a large number of Veterans group were not invited, Mr. Leonardo was bang on, on this issue also.

Following the interview, a panel of different political parties were asked questions by Mr. Martin on the issue over the &1.1 billion.

It's of no surprise the Conservative member was tongue tied.

The question now is how much will the conservatives take, before they actually face the real issues facing Canadian Veterans.

Make no mistake, they are certainly feeling the pressure.
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Re: More than $200M unspent in veterans budget last year

Post by pinger on Thu 20 Nov 2014, 21:27

Yes, †their feeling the pressure alright. One only needs a tally sheet of all the negative incidents (debacles) under Fantino's watch in the last year.
They feel the pressure because they know the average Canadian is picking up on it.
That said, I can feel my blood boil and blood pressure go up when I read about another one.

" On Tuesday, Stoffer put a pointed question about the lapsed funds to Fantino, who answered by tallying up the government's total spending on the veteran's department -- roughly $30 billion since 2006.
"It means improved rehabilitation for Canadian veterans," Fantino said. "It means more counselling for veterans' families. It means more money for veterans' higher education and retraining. It means we care deeply about our veterans."
But that didn't answer the question of why so much of the budget has been allowed to lapse, said Stoffer, noting that the overall budget of the department is something the government is committed to under the law."

Now I don't have a transcript but how in blazes does unused lapsed funding equate to improvements?
More like sugarcoating a failure for an answer. But wait! There's more!...

" Veterans Affairs statement to CTV News: ...
Veterans Affairs must have sufficient resources to meet the forecasted need, resulting in a few percent overage that if unused is reinvested into the following years budgetary process. " Well, what came first? The horse, the cart, or ... greed?

Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/over-1-1-billion-in-unspent-funds-at-veterans-affairs-since-2006-documents-1.2110024#ixzz3JfLBn0Ep

Fair winds, pinger.
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Re: More than $200M unspent in veterans budget last year

Post by pinger on Mon 24 Nov 2014, 19:19

Please read this... sharp summary I found recently...
http://thechronicleherald.ca/editorials/1252579-editorial-ottawa-awol-on-vet-budget

Harper was in London today. About a comprehensive tech NRC moneyspending pr photo thing.
On my a.m.radio he said Canada has the best veterans support in the WORLD ???
The HoC had a rebuttal to that today alright... I cannnot find the links.

Harper and Fantino are far beyond damage control and the best pr won't help.
Is Joe Cdn listening, more lately yes.
Is Joe Cdn going to remember next year? Enter more spindoctors.

But is Joe Cdn even going to vote to begin with...? jmo. pinger.
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Re: More than $200M unspent in veterans budget last year

Post by teentitan on Thu 04 Dec 2014, 16:30

OK I have been digging around on this subject and this is what I have found out about "surplus budget" money

It is standard practice for all gov't departments to 'over budget' by up to 5% every year. Here is a link to all the departments that gave back their budget surplus

http://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/recgen/cpc-pac/2014/vol2/intro-eng.html

When you open the above link pick a department and go the the Ministry Summary and look for "Lapsed" column

Now I know in the old days when we served the end of the fiscal year or March Madness we spent to keep our budget at the same amount.

Well when it comes to overall budgeting for the department the 5% rule comes into play.

If the department spends any of this money they have to justify it down to the last penny why they spent it.

In other words it's a "slush" fund where the gov't can tap into it for on the spot "donations" "emergency spending" and creating a huge surplus of cash to balance the books before an election.

So VAC did not short change any program and it's funding.

FYI the lapsed spending slush fund totalled $18 Billion (give or take a half billion).

Does this number sound familiar to anyone?

About 3 weeks ago Harper said they have balanced the books with an $18 billion cash infusion at a photo op.

The office closures, staff reduction was from an announcement 3 years ago from then Finance Minister Flaherty that ALL departments will slash their real budget by 5%. So VAC closed down bricks and mortar (VAC offices) which helped the staff reduction and natural attrition of staff were not filled and they shifted people around to get to their 5%.

To my knowledge and conversations no programs lost any funding.
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Re: More than $200M unspent in veterans budget last year

Post by Trooper on Thu 04 Dec 2014, 17:44

Teen,

I think when it comes to Veterans, even if there were no programs that lost any funding, Veterans fund should always be exempt from any such % slush fund.

Any money left over should be put right back in our budget, over and above the numbers of the following budget.

This way we could achieve a surplus over time, and use those funds when needed.

JMO.
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Re: More than $200M unspent in veterans budget last year

Post by teentitan on Thu 04 Dec 2014, 17:51

Totally agree with you trooper! Totally agree
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Re: More than $200M unspent in veterans budget last year

Post by Trooper on Mon 08 Dec 2014, 18:27

I have just read where the biggest job cuts in Veterans affairs were not backroom cuts, no, some of the biggest were from the disability branch.

That's right folks, some of the biggest cuts were in the disability award branches of DVA.

Reports stretching back to 2009 show that roughly 897 positions have been eliminated across Veterans Affairs, with 33% coming out of the section that administers pensions and awards.

Thereís a direct connection between the job cuts, the auditor generalís complaints about benefit application wait times and the $1.13-billion in budget allocations that have gone unspent since 2006, says the opposition.

I was not kidding when I said there's more to come, we have Veterans and the opposition who continues to dig deep into this, what will they find next ?
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Re: More than $200M unspent in veterans budget last year

Post by Guest on Tue 09 Dec 2014, 01:03

buds for a very long time now they have been tying to save money by denying benefits . then by reducing benefits , then came the NVC buyout . now by closing buildings and cutting staff . who cuts staff ??? management cuts staff and they ain't cutting themselves . nope the management are collecting big bonuses by cutting others and I am sure that includes VRAB board members that are not always saying NO . now they will hire new ones that will say NO .

there is a lot of money to be made in salaries and bonuses by denying disabled vets benefits or services .

what will they find next ????

look at the numbers of disabled vets from the recent war.

the math doesn't add up not even close.

whatever it is im thinking its pretty big.

thank you for that trooper.

propat

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Re: More than $200M unspent in veterans budget last year

Post by pinger on Wed 16 Sep 2015, 16:16

Interesting...

http://blogs.canoe.com/davidakin/politics/untangling-the-federal-governments-unspent-money-and-the-surplus/
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Re: More than $200M unspent in veterans budget last year

Post by teentitan on Wed 16 Sep 2015, 16:40

It is an eye opener that media and critics don't want to read...reality!
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Re: More than $200M unspent in veterans budget last year

Post by Guest on Wed 16 Sep 2015, 19:10

BLOOD MONEY!!!

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