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Release of Public Accounts Demonstrates Liberal Failure of Fiscal Responsibility: Wakeham
“The growth in expenditures and the subsequent growth in the deficit is further evidence that this Liberal Government cannot responsibly manage the public purse.” said Wakeham.
Thursday, October 24, 2019

Office of the Official Opposition 

For Immediate Release

 

St. John’s, NL (October 24, 2019) – Today Tony Wakeham, PC Finance Critic, is expressing continued concern over the Liberal’s management of our public funds.

“Today, the audited financial statements, or the actual numbers, of the provinces finances for 2018-2019 were released. These numbers show that the Liberal government spent more and ran a larger deficit than the public was told when Budget 2019 was released.”

The Public Accounts show that, for the 2018-2019 fiscal year, expenses were approximately $100 million greater than reported in April 2019. This, in turn, caused the deficit to increase by $30 million.

“The growth in expenditures and the subsequent growth in the deficit is further evidence that this Liberal Government cannot responsibly manage the public purse.” said Wakeham.

Wakeham noted that this is particularly concerning in light of recent comments made by the Finance Minister.

“Last month, the Finance Minister changed his tune and said that he was “hoping” to return to surplus. The Finance Minister is slowly walking away from his commitment to return to a balanced budget. His comments along with the news that the deficit was actually larger than reported give me concern about the financial path that this province is on. The Liberal Government has failed to be responsible stewards of our taxpayer dollars.”

Wakeham also noted that the Government refuses to provide any details to support its fiscal plan. Wakeham asked the Clerk of the Executive Council to grant an exception and provide access to the detail on the basis that disclosure is in the public interest. This request was refused so the detail will remain protected in secret as a “cabinet record”.

“This Government’s fiscal plan includes an expenditure reduction of $617 million by 2022-23. Yet they are refusing to show the details of how they will reduce expenditures. The Premier and his Cabinet Ministers are the only people who know the details. This is information of sufficient interest to the public and I firmly believe should be released. If you have nothing to hide, then don’t hide it” said Wakeham.

 

Contacts:

Bradley Russell

Director of Policy and Research

(p) 1.709.729.3668

BradleyRussell@gov.nl.ca

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