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Thursday, January 21, 2016

January 21, 2016

 

For Immediate Release

 

Liberals Hurting Economy with Talk of 30% Cuts;

 

Should Be Demanding Federal Intervention

 

Paul Davis, Leader of the Official Opposition, said, “The Liberals' directive to request departments, agencies, boards and commissions to find cost reductions of 30 per cent would mean thousands of layoffs, and severe cuts to public services like hospitals and schools. Regrettably, just by raising the possibility of cuts of that magnitude, the Finance Minister has just sent a deep chill across our province that is likely to curb consumer spending and erode business confidence at a time when our economy is at its most vulnerable and least able to bear the shock. The public sector accounts for a huge percentage of jobs and incomes in our province, and the Minister's threats have made matters worse.”

 

“Premier Ball stated unequivocally during the election campaign that ‘under a new Liberal Government, public sector jobs are safe’. He reiterated just days ago that public sector layoffs would not be in his budget plan – only voluntary attrition – but now, his Minister is saying that ‘every single thing that we can consider is going to be on the table until we develop the plan that we want to implement,’ including layoffs. Why is the Premier not directing his Finance Minister to fulfill his commitment to public service employees?”

 

Davis said, “I am also deeply concerned that Premier Ball has not been active alongside the Premiers of Canada’s other major oil-producing provinces, Alberta and Saskatchewan, in demanding federal intervention, in light of the oil revenue crunch, through major stimulus measures, infrastructure investments and equalization reform to help us cope. Ottawa stepped in with billions in support when Ontario’s auto sector problems threatened that province’s economy. Now that oil sector problems are threatening our economy, we should be unapologetic in demanding significant federal intervention to help us out.”

 

“Equalization was intended to ensure provinces have enough revenue to offer comparable services. Something is seriously wrong when we are receiving zero in equalization as a revenue crisis threatens our basic services while central Canada is receiving billions in equalization as their economy rebounds from the low dollar,” said Davis.

 

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Media Contact:

 

Heather MacLean

 

Director of Communications

 

Office of the Official Opposition

 

(709) 729 6105

 

heathermaclean@gov.nl.ca

 

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