Muskrat Falls more trou­ble than HST

The Compass - - EDITORIAL -

Premier-des­ig­nate Dwight Ball says he has no in­ten­tion of rais­ing the HST from 13 per cent to 15 per cent.

Ball says ev­ery one per cent in­crease in the HST will re­duce the pur­chas­ing power of the prov­ince’s cit­i­zens by about $100 mil­lion a year. Premier des­ig­nate Dwight Ball says (and rightly so) that in­creas­ing the HST “ac­tu­ally slows the econ­omy” — the last thing the prov­ince needs.

If re­duc­ing the peo­ples’ pur­chas­ing power by $100 mil­lion a year for ev­ery one per cent in­crease in the HST is not good eco­nomic pol­icy, why is it then that Nal­cor’s Muskrat Falls project, which Nal­cor says (over the 50year pe­riod start­ing in 2018) will re­ceive ‘div­i­dends’/rev­enue from NL ratepay­ers av­er­ag­ing $700 mil­lion a year, con­sid­ered good eco­nomic pol­icy?

If a one or two per cent in­crease in the HST ($100 or $200 mil­lion a year) is un­ten­able, what im­pact will re­mov­ing $700 mil­lion a year (or $1 bil­lion a year when the $9 bil­lion cost es­ti­mate for the project is fac­tored in) from the pur­chas­ing power of cit­i­zens have on the econ­omy — half of which will go to the banks and pay for the op­er­at­ing costs of the project?

Muskrat Falls is (in ef­fect) like rais­ing the HST to 20 per cent, or 24 per cent if the new project cost es­ti­mates of $9 bil­lion are fac­tored in.

This prov­ince is al­ready 90 per cent ‘green’. Only ten per cent of our en­ergy needs come from Holy­rood, and with the re­cent pur­chase of a 120 MW tur­bine, we have suf­fi­cient en­ergy to get us to 2041.

So, premier des­ig­nate Ball, let’s put the dam/gen­er­a­tion plant on hold.

Stop play­ing around the edges of this fis­cal/eco­nomic quandary that we find our­selves in.

Stop the hem­or­rhag­ing. Stop the methyl mer­cury.

If re­duc­ing the peo­ples’ pur­chas­ing power by $100 mil­lion a year for ev­ery one per cent in­crease in the HST is not good eco­nomic pol­icy, why is it then that Nal­cor’s Muskrat Falls project, which Nal­cor says (over the 50-year pe­riod start­ing in 2018) will re­ceive ‘div­i­dends’/rev­enue from NL ratepay­ers av­er­ag­ing $700 mil­lion a year, con­sid­ered good eco­nomic pol­icy?

Stop ig­nor­ing the ele­phant in the room.

Mau­rice E. Adams writes from Par­adise

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.