The first quarter financial update shows the province is on track to run a $292 million deficit and is piling up more than $1.5 billion of new debt this year alone.
The Opposition New Democrats say this is yet another sign of the Sask. Party government's failure to properly manage our province's finances and its inability to deliver on what matters most to Saskatchewan families.
“The Sask. Party government has had record revenues year after year. They've spent every last penny, drained the rainy day fund, and added billions to our provincial debt. With all that spending, Saskatchewan families should have seen real improvements to our hospitals, care homes, schools and roads. But we haven't seen real improvements, because this government has wasted far too much money on Mr. Wall's misplaced priorities.” said Trent Wotherspoon, NDP deputy leader and finance critic. "Now, with a drop in commodity prices, the government is scrambling, because they just rode the resource wave and never bothered to put any money away or take the right steps to diversify our economy. Saskatchewan people deserve so much better than this."
Wotherspoon said the Sask. Party government has wasted huge amounts of money, with a 228 per cent increase in highly paid consultants; huge cost overruns on the planned Regina Bypass, because it is being done as a public-private partnership (P3) with a company from France; significant cost overruns on the planned Children's Hospital, because of mistakes made by the government's American Lean consultant; the costly P3 rent-a-school scheme; dangerous and faulty smart meters; the premier's two travel scouts; and more.
Wotherspoon also criticized the government for failing to take the appropriate steps to diversify our economy. The Sask. Party government killed our province's film industry; slashed supports for entrepreneurs; and continues to use its flawed procurement system which means Saskatchewan businesses keep losing out while government and Crown contracts are handed to out-of-province and out-of-country companies.
“There's growing frustration throughout Saskatchewan about this government's misplaced priorities and the fact that Mr. Wall has so little to show for years of record government revenues,” Wotherspoon said. “We need a government that is entirely focused on delivering real improvements to our hospitals, care homes, schools and roads, that does so in a fiscally responsible manner, and that invests in diversifying and strengthening our economy for the long-term.”