We’re living beyond our means
So, the Dunderdale government forecasts an additional deficit of $4 billion in three years. That revelation came recently from new Finance Minister Jerome Kennedy as we are already dealing with current provincial debt which will reach $8.9 billion by March 31.
If the current slippery slope continues — I presume most of the money to be saved by 2013-14 cuts will go towards paying interest on the $8.9 billion — we are worse off. In three years, factoring in another $4 billion, our 2016 deficit could translate into $26,000 for every man, woman and child.
This from a government that set its 2012-13 budget based on oil prices being over $120 a barrel. Currently it is ringing in at approximately $96 a barrel.
Some time ago, the current government was calling us a “have” province for the first time since 1949. Have province? If my math is correct it indicates a “havedebt” province, one the rest of the country can view as having an astronomical financial cliff to climb. That debt does not include Muskrat Falls expenditures yet to come.
Cutting equalization payments to the province gave us an ego trip. What did we receive except a new feeling of pride? And that was good and well deserved, but not long lasting. I think cutting current government goods and services (infrastructure included) is a Band-Aid solution. We could call it government by credit card.
Bill Westcott writes from Clarke’s Beach