What Is A Spending Cut?

Calgary City Hall by Michael J on Flickr

Calgary Council claims they have cut $607 million from their budget over the last few years.

But, when they say they’ve made “cuts”, they just mean that they increased spending by less than they originally planned to!

Here are the actual numbers, from the city’s own documents (2014-2017 actual, 2018-2022 projected):

2014: $3.45 billion
2015: $3.59 billion (+4.1%)
2016: $3.67 billion (+2.2%)
2017: $3.82 billion (+4.1%)
2018: $4.00 billion (+4.7%)
2019: $4.09 billion (+2.3%)
2020: $4.25 billion (+3.9%)
2021: $4.39 billion (+3.3%)
2022: $4.52 billion (+3.0%)

From 2014-2022 that works out to a 38% increase in spending.

So, what do you think? Is a reduction in the increase in spending a “spending cut”?