Canada House speaker clears way for budget vote

Thu Mar 13, 2008 1:43pm EDT
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - The speaker of the House of Commons cleared the way for a budget vote on Thursday which seeks to nullify an opposition legislator's attempt to expand tax savings for educational savings plans.

The ways-and-means motion contains language which would kill the provisions of a bill by opposition Liberal Dan McTeague. His bill would make contributions to educational savings plans tax-deductible, but the government says this could bring the federal budget into deficit.

The Liberals had challenged the government's attempt to neuter McTeague's bill, but House Speaker Peter Milliken ruled on Thursday that it was in order.

The Liberals had in any case indicated earlier they would let the budget motion pass so as not to topple the minority Conservative government and trigger an election at this time.

The issue will return to the House later when legislation is introduced implementing the February budget. That legislation would mirror the ways-and-means motion.

The vote on the motion is set for shortly after 3 p.m. EDT (1900 GMT) on Thursday.

(Reporting by Randall Palmer; editing by Renato Andrade)

<p>Speaker of the House of Commons Peter Milliken speaks to the media on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, in an undated photo. REUTERS/Jim Young</p>