Budget reveals more cuts, more fees and no plan to protect and create jobs
As the government presented their budget, Saskatchewan families and seniors were left wondering why, instead of coming clean before the election, the Sask. Party chose to hide their plans to cut the programs and services people depend on.
“There is absolutely nothing in this budget that justifies such a long delay,” said NDP Finance Critic Cathy Sproule. “Even after the wait, it is deeply troubling to see that the Sask. Party still has no plan to retrain workers, create jobs, and diversify the economy. This government clearly has no interest in helping Saskatchewan people get back to work.”
Despite 9,000 fewer jobs today than a year ago, the Sask. Party’s budget slashes job creation and training programs. These cuts, which include everything from apprenticeship programs and skills training to employment development, post-secondary and Adult Basic Education, were never mentioned during the campaign.
Saskatchewan families and seniors are also being left to pay the price for the Sask. Party’s poor decisions. The budget includes plans to hike the cost of medication for seniors and kids, and cutting the Saskatchewan Employment Supplement for low-income parents with teenage children. Healthcare and education cuts will also hurt core services Saskatchewan families depend on.
“When, during the election, did the Sask. Party mention their plans to hike prescription drug costs, and pull the rug out from hard-working families who rely on a little extra assistance just to get by? None of that was in their platform or their Throne Speech just two weeks ago,” said Sproule. “The tiny increases allotted for both healthcare and education are not nearly enough to even maintain programs at their current levels. As a result school divisions and health regions will need to make difficult decisions in the coming months.”
The budget also makes further cuts to the province’s most vulnerable by making large cutbacks to Aboriginal Court worker programs, Aboriginal Police consulting groups, and the only Northern jail. Further, there is nothing in this budget to help move forward on the TRC recommendations, and this province’s necessary role in reconciliation.
“These programs serve those most overrepresented in the criminal justice system. To make cuts and otherwise ignore these areas defies reality,” said Sproule. “The Sask. Party needs to stop making Saskatchewan people pay for their mismanagement,” Sproule said. “They should apologize to Saskatchewan people for refusing to be honest before the election and reconsider this budget.”