Wednesday, 28 March 2012

NB NDP leader Dominic Cardy responds to yesterday's provincial budget



BUDGET 2012: AFTER YEARS OF LIBERAL CHAOS, CONSERVATIVES MANAGING NEW
BRUNSWICK’S DECLINE

FREDERICTON – New Brunswick New Democrat Leader Dominic Cardy responded to the 2012 budget with concern over the Conservatives’ lack of vision, but praised some of Finance Minister Blaine Higg’s initiatives.

“Our debt-to-GDP ratio keeps going up,” said Cardy. “The government predicts New Brunswick will have the slowest economic growth in the entire country.”

"Minister Higgs has told the people of New Brunswick we need to ‘want less’. What the people of New Brunswick want is a government with a long term vision. They deserve better education, and less money wasted on corporate handouts. Minister Higgs committed $10 million for Invest NB, a government agency that hasn’t created a single job, but only committed $2.5 million for Elementary Literacy programs.”

Cardy expressed concern over the state of front-line services in the province. He said, “Minister Higgs estimates that through attrition the government can cut 4,500 government employee jobs, but he has not been clear on how this will affect the front-line services the people of New Brunswick need.”

“As a constructive opposition, New Democrats give the Conservatives credit for balancing the books, but we have to be clear that the savings and efficiencies estimated in the budget at $226 million are based on hopes, not facts,” said Cardy.

Cardy said, “I am concerned over the absence of a real plan for public-sector pension reform. The New Democrats call on the government to discuss the New Brunswick Union’s proposals on this file,” said Cardy.

Cardy did have praise for Minister Higgs. “I am encouraged about the possible sale of the government plane, increasing the Financial Corporation Capital Tax, and the $6.4 million committed for pay equity, among other positive measures.”

“A New Democrat government would go further. We would eliminate inefficiencies in government bureaucracy, end corporate welfare, and protect front-line services like education and healthcare,” said Cardy.