Legislative Report (7 April 206)
7 April 2006
Nothing in NDP Budget for Families
You’ll soon be getting a brochure from the NDP with a young woman on the front. The slogan beside her will read “Building a better future—Right Here”. This brochure will tell you how the latest NDP budget will improve job prospects for young people in our province. However, the budget won’t.
Yes, the NDP has finally acted on reforming the corporate tax structure to make Saskatchewan more competitive as a place to invest and a place to create jobs. This is something the Saskatchewan Party has been advocating for years. And finally, the NDP has listened.
However, efforts to keep our young people here must go much farther. Providing tax relief for corporations to come here is but one part of a growth agenda. It’s a step in the right direction, but not the whole journey. Even by the NDP’s own estimates, this latest budget will actually result in fewer jobs being created in Saskatchewan—not more. In fact, the NDP is predicting the creation of 3,200 new jobs. That’s down a third from the prediction they may for job growth in 2006 just one year ago. This means at the end of the day, Saskatchewan will still be trailing all other western provinces in the area of job creation. We all know that’s not good enough.
What this province really needs is an over-all plan to increase growth—a plan that includes a competitive and fair labour legislative environment, limits on government intervention in the economy, and a long term strategic plan for improving our infrastructure.
There are other problems with this budget. It did not roll back the one per cent PST increase introduced by the NDP after the last election. This was a tax increase no one voted for and it broke a promise made by Lorne Calvert in the last election not to raise taxes. Funding for agriculture was also cut and there is no plan put forward to hire a single new nurse when the province so desperately needs them.
In fact, the budget offers not one dime in personal tax relief for Saskatchewan families. And that’s not acceptable.
There is another troubling trend. Statistics Canada says our province is now in its seventh straight month of job losses. But government spending and hiring is increasing. The NDP will tell you they are reducing the debt. That’s not true. Using the measure of debt recommended by the Provincial Auditor, Saskatchewan’s debt is increasing by $288.5 million.
The NDP had almost $1 billion in unexpected revenues. They offered no tax relief to ordinary families. In fact, they in effect added $288 per person on to the backs of future taxpayers.
The Finance Minister went to great lengths to explain how this was a budget for working people. That claim just isn’t credible.
If you have a question about this report, or any other matter, just Contact Glen.
Past Legislative Reports