Government to cut what matters, keep spending on pet projects

The premier says he may freeze the funding for health care, education, universities and municipalities – even while he continues to spend wildly on pet projects like the Lean fiasco, the smart meter mess and carbon capture.

"It may mean saying to all our third party partners plan on zero per cent. Plan on between zero and one percent possibly, or certainly, something under cost of living," Brad Wall said of funding for those critical services, according to the CBC. Meanwhile, the government continues to sign cheques and fork over cash for its pet projects.

“$1.6 billion for the carbon capture experiment. A 228 per cent increase in highly paid consultants. Losing and giving away tens of millions in its dangerous smart meter mess. More than $100 million for the toxic John Black Lean program, including a $40 million payday for the American Lean consultant,” said NDP Deputy Leader Trent Wotherspoon. “Asking Saskatchewan families to accept cuts in health care and education in order for the government to plow ahead and keep spending on pet projects – that’s just plain wrong.”

Wotherspoon said the government’s failure to diversify the economy during years of high income is a disappointment.  He said the naive, flawed procurement policy of the government that is hurting Saskatchewan businesses and not providing best value for taxpayers is a prime example.

“This government was been given unprecedented opportunity with record revenue highs and they’ve failed to get the job done where it matters – in the economy and in the lives of families.  Saskatchewan should be able to afford excellent health care, great schools for our kids and strong transfers to municipalities to keep property taxes low for all Saskatchewan families,” said Wotherspoon.

Wall also indicated Wednesday the government plans to stop unnecessary trips.

“Why on earth was this government taking unnecessary trips in the first place?” Wotherspoon asked, adding that the plan to freeze hiring is laughable considering this government has increased its use in high-priced consultants by 228 per cent compared to six years ago. Despite the multi-million dollar expense, the government doesn’t have proper records or an explanation as to what those consultants are doing for the government, according to the independent provincial auditor.

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For more information, contact:
Erin Morrison, NDP caucus