Conference Board Warns Budget To

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(709) 753-6043


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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

June 15, 2016


For Immediate Release




Conference Board Warns Cuts and Taxes Will Trigger NL Recession




Keith Hutchings, Opposition Finance Critic, said, “The Conference Board of Canada is reporting that the Ball government's cuts and enormous tax increases will be among the major factors driving Newfoundland and Labrador into a recession next year. Newfoundland and Labrador is the only province expected to fall into a recession in 2017. This echoes the warnings the PC Opposition has been issuing for months."




The Board's provincial economic forecast, issued on June 13, 2016, says the primary drivers of the economic slide, other than low commodity prices, are the government's cuts, tax hikes and fee increases.




Hutchings said, "Finance Minister Cathy Bennett has taken exception to the factors reported by the Conference Board, when clearly the facts speak for themselves. The fiscal crisis caused by tanking oil revenues called for a balanced, long-term approach that would drive new economic growth, bridge any economic downturn and clearly identify revenue options and expense reductions that will return us to a sound financial footing. The lazy and reckless slash-and-tax ‎approach taken by the Minister of Finance and the Liberal administration has not been endorsed by any economist as a solid basis for economic recovery. The balanced approach by other provinces, especially those affected by the drastic reduction in oil prices, has been replaced in this province with a Ball Liberal agenda of tax and fee increases, which will challenge what our economy can sustain and will possibly make their revenue projections unattainable. Consumers and our fragile economy cannot bear the impact."




A decision for a second Budget in Fall 2016 only further shakes consumer confidence and dramatically affects business investment in our province, further slowing our economic growth.




“To confirm the short-sightedness of the ill-conceived Liberal fiscal plan, even the Budget 2016 documents acknowledge that budgetary measures will significantly impact the economic decline of our province over the next five years‎. Now the Conference Board is warning that the impacts of Liberal decisions in terms of job losses and unemployment will be felt very soon."




Hutchings said, "While serious choices needed to be made, those made in Budget 2016 occur when a government without a plan or a clear sense of direction plunges ahead. What they failed to realize is that this approach will crush an already slowing economy, and the Liberal pledge of an innovative approach with sound financial managers and a plan that people will like, are as distant now as ever and ring hollow to the people of our province.”








Media Contact: Heather MacLean


Director of Communications, Office of the Official Opposition


(709) 729 6105


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