OTTAWA - Canada's budget watchdog is taking the Harper government to court over the refusal to turn over information about its austerity measures.

Parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page has filed a reference application with the Federal Court seeking a judgment affirming he has the jurisdiction to seek the information.

Page has complained for months that government departments have not been forthcoming with his requests on budget cutbacks, staff reductions and impacts on services.

In response, the government has said Page is overreaching, and that his mandate is to examine government spending, not government restraint.

Page says in an email response he will be issuing a release later in the day explaining the rationale for the court action.

NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair, who first asked Page for the analysis, is listed as a respondent in the court action.