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Legislative Report (12 April 2006)

Legislative Report

12 April 2006

More NDP Waste and Mismanagement

“This loss of public money provides a dramatic example of why there must be effective controls at government agencies.” (Provincial Auditor News Release, June 7, 2005)

Taxpayers anywhere need to be assured their elected officials know the true value of a dollar. And with our farm families facing such tough times, there is an even greater need for government accountability. Sadly this week we’ve seen two more examples of NDP waste and mismanagement.

The first example involves revelations Tuesday of more financial irregularities. This time, an audit in SaskPower revealed money missing to the tune of approximately $100,000. This comes one month after the NDP revealed 43 instances of fraud, including some that had never been made public.

Time and time again, the Provincial Auditor urged the NDP to impose tighter fraud prevention systems. Time and time again, he urged the NDP to make sure existing audit controls like bank reconciliations were done in a timely fashion. Time and time again, these recommendations were ignored. Money was lost. And to date, no one currently in government has been held accountable for these losses.

What we are witnessing is a culture of incompetence permeating the highest levels of an NDP government that has been in power for far too long.

Another example of the NDP’s failure to appreciate the true value of taxpayers’ dollars is the blatant political opportunism demonstrated by the Minister of Finance. You may have already seen the commercials featuring Andrew Thomson extolling the virtues of his budget.

Now, each and every year, governments provide citizens with information about what’s in the budget. It’s a lengthy, complex document. Last year, $47,500 was spent on that effort which we believe is a reasonable amount.

This year, Thomson is spending almost ten times as much - $445,000. And when asked why he had to be in the commercial, Thomson told reporters, “It’s my budget.” Isn’t that interesting? In the months before the provincial election, a possible candidate for the leadership of the NDP takes the unprecedented move of featuring himself in television ads for the budget. What’s more, the NDP plans to spend another $2.5 million on advertising to promote Saskatchewan as a good place to do business. This sounds a lot like the recent “Our Future is Wide Open” campaign, which went into full gear the fall before an anticipated provincial election. Isn’t it interesting that this new campaign is also slated to get into high gear in the fall before the provincial election.

Making budgets is all about choices. You can spend taxpayers’ dollars on services that will improve the lives of everyone, or you can spend those same dollars on activities that further the NDP’s narrow political interests. I think it’s time we said enough is enough.

If you have a question about this report or any other matter, just Contact Glen.

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