In recent years, the subject of the government’s debt has become more prominent in discussions on public finances. People are concerned by the size of the debt and its growth.
As at March 31, 2014, preliminary results show that the gross debt stood at $198 052 million, equivalent to 54.3% of GDP.
The gross debt represents the sum of the debt contracted on financial markets and the net liabilities for the retirement plans and future benefits of government employees from which the balance of the Generations Fund is subtracted. The gross debt does not take into account the government’s assets (fixed assets, investments, etc.).
That is why, in addition to the concept of gross debt, the government uses the concepts of net debt and debt representing accumulated deficits. This last concept represents the difference between the government’s liabilities and its assets. It represents the “bad debt”, i.e. the debt that does not correspond to an asset.
|Gross debt||198 052||54.3|
|Less: Financial assets, net of other liabilities||- 16 087|
|Net debt||181 965||49.9|
|Less: Non-financial assets||- 61 891|
|Debt representing accumulated deficits||120 074||32.9|