The consequences of the Sask. Party government’s cuts to the most vulnerable and tax hikes for the middle class are on full display in the 2018-19 fiscal update, with growth projections down significantly since the budget, and spending on social services up.
“It’s the choices we make when times are tough that define us,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “And by that measure, Premier Moe and the Sask. Party will be remembered for making the economic downturn worse by cutting health and education, and by adding the PST to key economic drivers like restaurant meals, construction labour, and used car sales.”
Saskatchewan’s GDP growth was the lowest outside the Maritimes in 2017, and is projected to go even lower, with the updated GDP forecast slashed from 1.3% to 0.7% in 2018, from 2.5% to 1.2% in 2019, and from 2.6% to 2.3% in 2020.
Meanwhile, social services spending has climbed by $23 million above what was budgeted, “primarily due to caseload increases in child and family services at the Ministry of Social Services.” In other words, more people are slipping through the cracks because of the cuts and mismanagement of a government that spent recklessly through the boom years, draining the rainy day fund and doubling the debt over the last ten years.
“The degree to which this government squandered an unprecedented windfall resource boom is staggering,” said NDP Finance Critic Trent Wotherspoon. “And when the economy went into a skid, Moe and the Sask. Party slammed on the brakes. People are hurting and are justifiably furious about this reckless mismanagement.”