The Sask. Party government’s year-end financial report shows a government scrambling – it drained millions from the province’s rainy day fund, increased the debt, raided the Crowns and forced even more debt onto universities.
“Saskatchewan businesses keep delivering on a strong economy, but the Sask. Party has been struggling, shuffling money between bank accounts in order to manufacture numbers and using improper reporting,” said Trent Wotherspoon, NDP finance critic. “Selling off assets like a Crown corporation and affordable homes, draining the long-term savings account and still managing to increase the debt are things that deeply concern the Opposition, and they’re inexcusable in a strong economy.”
Wotherspoon said that Saskatchewan’s strong economy should be an opportunity for the government to shore up savings and invest in assets to stabilize the economy for the long term – not spend the savings and sell off the assets while racking up debt.
He said that the government’s poor choices come at a price for Saskatchewan people.
“Asking students to pay inflated tuition to cover the Sask. Party’s broken promise to universities -- punting debt onto their books -- is just wrong. Asking working families to accept cuts in classrooms is just wrong. The Sask. Party is focused on the headline and spin instead of on the future health of our province.”
The Sask. Party is also stubbornly sticking with its misleading and controversial practice of using two sets of books.
The year-end report’s real statements are buried behind the General Revenue Fund (GRF) statements. The NDP dismisses the value of these statements entirely, as does the independent Provincial Auditor Bonnie Lysyk. The GRF statements released by the Sask. Party government were also criticized by the auditor for being incorrect, leaving out hundreds of millions of dollars in expenses and deficit.
“Using two sets of books is misleading and wrong,” said Wotherspoon, who has been calling for the practice to end. “Not only is the Sask. Party stubbornly insisting on continuing this bogus practice, but the useless statements that they’re focusing on are materially false, according to the auditor.”
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For further information, please contact:
Erin Morrison, NDP caucus office