Reality Check: Sask. Party spins hard but can’t hide its mismanagement in GDP projections

The Sask. Party government has been known to play shell games to try to spin that its PST hikes and its cuts to education and healthcare don’t actually hurt Saskatchewan people. The falling GDP projections hidden within Saskatchewan’s mid-year financials is the latest example.

The Sask. Party bragged about “cumulative GDP growth” for 2017 and 2018 being “slightly higher than the budget forecast” in the media release accompanying the mid-year report, but that supposed growth was entirely due to higher actual growth in 2017. When 2017’s GDP growth is taken out of the picture, a much bleaker prognosis emerges.

These were the growth projections presented in the spring 2018 budget:

Real GDP

2018

2019

2020

 

1.3

2.5

2.6

And here are the mid-year financial projections now, after the negative consequences of the PST expansion and cuts to services have begun to bite:

Real GDP

2018

2019

2020

 

0.7

1.2

2.3

These adjustments amount to $3.8 billion less in economic activity between now and 2020 as a result of the Sask. Party’s mismanagement.

Saskatchewan people may not be getting the full picture from the Sask. Party, but they know from their pocket books that they are hurting, and the government’s own projections show that that pain will continue.

Saskatchewan’s GDP growth in 2017 was already the lowest outside the Maritimes in 2017 and is now projected to go even lower.

The reason why?

It’s not just because of the suspension of operations at the McArthur River uranium mine, as the Sask. Party would have you believe. It’s because the Sask. Party made poor financial decisions such as raising the PST on key economic drivers like restaurant meals, construction labour, and used car sales. Saskatchewan people deserve better.