Ottawa's Action Not Good Enough | PC

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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

May 25, 2016


For Immediate Release


Ottawa’s Best Effort is Not Good Enough:


Still Just $32 Million Out of an Equalization Pool of $18 Billion


Keith Hutchings, Finance Critic for the Official Opposition, said, “Ottawa’s best effort to come to Premier Ball’s rescue is simply not good enough, when Newfoundland and Labrador is still getting just $32 million out of an equalization pool of $18 billion.”




“Delaying our repayment of an old Equalization overpayment is something that should have been identified during provincial budget preparation and not when polling numbers are declining, and it still leaves our people bearing a crushing burden of taxes, fees and cutbacks to core services,” he said. “And, of course, the deferred payments will still come due in the future.”




“If Premier Ball had fought to represent us in Ottawa, we would not be left with crumbs from the $18 billion equalization pie,” he said.




“Equalization is a constitutionally mandated program to give provinces additional revenue when their own revenues fall short to provide reasonable services and programs to its residents– but Ottawa's current conditions are that we can’t even have a review for three more years. Ottawa has the ability to change this in a number of ways but has chosen not to. So this year, because other provinces revenues are falling short, PEI will receive $400 million, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Manitoba will each receive $1.7 billion, Ontario will receive $2.3 billion and Quebec will receive $10 billion – and we will get just $32 million,” said Hutchings.




“If Premier Ball had been more vocal and effective in demanding fairness from his Liberal cousins in Ottawa, we could be getting a similar amount, and that would offset a raft of tax and fee increases – the levy, the HST, personal income taxes, gas taxes – and a raft of cuts to health care, education and other vital programs,” said Hutchings.




Hutchings said, “Premier Ball would rather crush Newfoundlanders and Labradorians with a disastrous budget than make waves with his federal cousins by joining Premiers Wall and Notley in demanding fairness.”




Media Contact:


Heather MacLean,


Director of Communications,


Office of the Official Opposition,


(709) 729 6105,


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