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11th-Hour Pre-Budget Consultations a Sham
The Liberals' pre-Budget consultation process is nothing but smoke and mirrors, and that’s disgraceful.
Thursday, January 9, 2020

Office of the Official Opposition
For Immediate Release

St. John’s, NL (January 9, 2020) – PC Opposition Finance critic Tony Wakeham said the pre-Budget consultations just launched by the minority Liberal government are a sham.

“First, the departments and agencies prepared their Budget submissions for the Finance department last fall, so these 11th-hour public consultations and requests for Opposition input are happening too late to shape the 2020 Budget. We know they have been building their Budget for months.”

“Second, the Liberals have steadfastly refused to provide the Opposition with the information we have been seeking since the last Budget so we would have a true picture of the fiscal forecast the government is basing its decisions on and the options the departments and agencies are considering to meet the forecast targets. They have even gone so far as to imply the fiscal forecast does not exist when we know otherwise.”

“The Liberal minority government does not have a mandate to exclude the Opposition from the process since they will need Opposition support to get the Budget passed; however, they have shut the Opposition out of the process by denying us the wealth of information they have at their disposal.”

“The Liberals are not genuinely interested in input or collaboration. Instead, they are setting up a last-minute charade so they can blame others for a Budget they have prevented the Opposition from shaping. Their pre-Budget consultation process is nothing but smoke and mirrors, and that’s disgraceful.”

“We have called for a pre-Budget process that is genuinely collaborative. It needs to begin as soon as the previous year’s Budget is passed, and MHAs need to be fully informed of the fiscal forecast and the budgetary options so they can have meaningful input in the choices that are being made. We repeatedly asked the Liberals to do just that, but each and every time, they have refused.”

David Brazil, as Opposition House Leader, said, “The Liberals are showing contempt for the majority of the Members in the House and contempt for the people of the province by engaging in a charade while shutting out the very people they are pretending to consult.”

Contacts:

Bradley Russell

Director of Policy and Research

(p) 1.709.729.3668

BradleyRussell@gov.nl.ca

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