Sask. Party has only balanced a single budget in nine years
REGINA - Today, the Moe government announced that it is $1.3 billion behind on its budget projections and staring down a massive deficit. The Official Opposition responded by grilling the Moe government for refusing to rein in spending on international trips and costly pet projects.
“Scott Moe has lost all credibility when it comes to managing taxpayer dollars. Once again, they’ve squandered a boom,” said Official Opposition Leader Carla Beck. “They aren’t focused on the right priorities. They’re jetting off on a million-dollar trip to Dubai and massively overspending on MLA-owned motels.
“Instead of growing the economy, they’ve become more and more dependent on hiking taxes and costs on the people of Saskatchewan during an affordability crisis. We’re all paying more to cover the cost of their mismanagement.”
Mid-year reports for 2023-24 show that under Premier Scott Moe, the Sask. Party government’s finances are off $1.3 billion from budget forecasts. The deficit is expected to be $250 million, despite the government projecting a billion-dollar surplus just eight months ago.
The Moe government has refused to rein in frivolous spending. The Premier’s latest trip to Dubai is still a go and is shaping up to be the most expensive in Saskatchewan’s history at $1 million.
No change is planned to the Ministry of Social Services’ policy on taxpayer-funded hotel stays, despite the Moe government paying inflated rates to MLA Gary Grewal’s Sunrise Motel and $172,000 to the establishment in the last year alone.
The Saskatchewan Revenue Agency will cost taxpayers an estimated $10 million annually, and local businesses an estimated $16 million annually in unnecessary accounting fees, for a service that the federal government already provides for free.
“This government is a mess,” said Opposition Finance Critic Trent Wotherspoon. “Scott Moe and the Sask. Party have one of the worst fiscal records in Canada by a country mile. Families continue to suffer from higher costs, and instead of offering relief, families are getting stuck paying for this Sask. Party government’s mismanagement.”
Today’s financial update is only the latest episode in a continued pattern of fiscal mismanagement. Since 2015-16, the Sask. Party government has only balanced a single budget, tripling the provincial debt since they took office and representing one of the worst fiscal track records in the country.