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Billion-Dollar Deficit: Province’s Finances and Economy Going in the Wrong Direction: Opposition
PC Opposition finance critic Tony Wakeham said “the finances and economy of the province are both going in the wrong direction.”
Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Office of the Official Opposition
For Immediate Release

St. John’s, NL (December 11, 2019) – PC Opposition finance critic Tony Wakeham said “the finances and economy of the province are both going in the wrong direction,” according to information in the fall update that was released by the Finance Minister just days after the House of Assembly adjourned.

“Midway through the fiscal year, the projected deficit is now a billion dollars – hundreds of millions above what it was projected to be. This puts the government farther away from its long-range fiscal targets, with a shorter time to hit them. It’s getting less and less likely that the Ball government will return this province to surplus – and that’s exactly what Moody’s predicted when they expressed skepticism about the government’s plans,” he said.

Wakeham pointed out that the Ball government continues to hide the details of its long-range fiscal plan from the public and the Opposition.

“Just as concerning – if not more so – is the news that the province’s economy is performing worse than the government said it would six months ago. Retail sales were expected to rise, but they’re way down – and a large part of the reason is that people are spending less on food. That’s troubling,” he said.

“Outmigration is up, housing starts are down, there are more discouraged workers who have given up looking for jobs, part-time employment is way down – and all of these are signs that our economy is getting worse, not better.”

“The million-dollar McKinsey report slapped the province hard for not diversifying the economy, letting job opportunities slip by. The Liberals are still far too dependent on the oil sector and vulnerable to events in that sector. The Liberals are not doing enough to stimulate growth in other sectors where the opportunities are,” he said.

Contacts:

Bradley Russell, Director of Policy and Research

(p) 1.709.729.3668

BradleyRussell@gov.nl.ca

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