The government’s First Quarter financial update is a manipulated, invalid report that doesn’t explain why debt is going up while the government is making cuts in a strong economy.
The government withholds all summary financial information in its report, showing only a sliver of the provincial books, called the General Revenue Fund (GRF). This is a practice the independent provincial auditor has called “wrong” and “misleading,” and the NDP has long called on the government to stop its tactic of using two sets of books.
“This government’s First Quarter Report is not worth the paper it’s printed on,” said Trent Wotherspoon, NDP deputy leader and finance critic. “This government is misleading the public by hiding the summary finances, and this report certainly doesn’t explain why the government is making cuts and failing to deliver on things families count on.
“Hospitals are physically crumbling. Classrooms are overcrowded and teachers are being laid off. The government has put the seniors-care system into crisis. People and businesses are doing their part to deliver on a strong economy – this government is not holding up its end.
“All of us in Saskatchewan are concerned that this government is struggling with these things in such a strong economy.”
Although Wotherspoon dismisses the selective and manipulated GRF numbers, he noted that the report gives us a peek at further ballooning debt – a serious cause for concern.
“If there’s one number in this report we should take seriously, it’s the fact that this government has already had to raise the amount of debt it plans to add this year by over $100 million.”
The hiked debt projection means that this year alone the government will add more than $1 billion of public debt, excluding the ballooning pension debt number the government continues to hide.
“Saskatchewan people deserve better. They deserve the straight goods – the true, full state of our finances, and a responsible financial plan. This update provides none of that.”