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The budget challenge: Think you can balance Ottawa's books?

Think you know what it takes to balance a budget? The Conservatives will deliver their federal budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year on March 21.

If you were in charge, what would you cut to get our finances in order? Would you raise taxes, cut foreign aid, trim transfers?

It's a painful process and to give you an idea of how hard it is, here's a selection of notable options below. It's not meant to be comprehensive, but spend some time nipping and snipping here and there and it'll give you an idea of how tough digging out of deficit can be. Make your plan to slash the deficit and share it with your friends and family.

Follow our budget coverage on Thursday to see what the Tories actually cut.


Select options to reduce the deficit below:

Click the buttons to add changes you would like to see implemented. Click again to remove them.

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* Deficit estimate of $26-billion is a projected value based on the Department of Finance fiscal reports for 2012

1Federal-corporate-income tax rate derived from calculating 1/15th (6 per cent) of the 2012-13 corporate income tax revenue. This is a static calculation that assumes no change in behaviour.
2GST figures based on Revenue Outlook, table 3.5.
3Total external program expenses from page 1.10 of Public Accounts.
4Canada's Economic Action Plan advertising spending based on 2011-12 expenses.
5CBC subsidy figure source: Public Accounts (2011-12) disposition of authorities, page 5.12.
6Calculated from 6 per cent of 2011-12 Canada health transfer, page 1.3 of Public Accounts.
7Foreign aid spending source: Report to Parliament on the Government of Canada's Official Development Assistance 2011-2012.

Where not otherwise specified, Government ministry and Crown corporation data came from the Public Accounts (2011-12) pages 1.4-1.9. Tax credits, deductions and TFSA data came from Tax Expenditures and Evaluations 2012: Part 1.

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