No Relief, No Trust: Sask. Party delivers no cost-of-living relief in election-year budget

BECK: The party that broke our schools and hospitals can’t be trusted to fix them 

REGINA - Today, the Sask. Party released an election-year budget that includes zero new measures to help make life more affordable for working families, despite Saskatchewan people reporting that rising costs are their number one concern. The budget also presented relatively few new ideas to transform the way healthcare is delivered in Saskatchewan at a time when the health system needs wide-scale reform.

“The Sask. Party had a real chance to show that they are listening and get the challenges folks are going through, and they blew it. Saskatchewan families are breaking the bank just to fill the tank and this government still didn’t suspend their 15-cent tax on gas and diesel,” said Official Opposition Leader Carla Beck. 

Nearly half of Canadian provinces have suspended provincial gas taxes in light of generational cost-of-living challenges. Scott Moe is the only Prairie premier who has not yet delivered gas-tax relief. Manitoba Premier Wab Kinew announced yesterday that he is looking at extending his province’s gas-tax suspension.

Rather than making life more affordable, Sask. Party is making life more expensive by collecting an additional $476.1M in provincial sales tax this year, an increase of 17.5% from last year. 

The Moe government also failed to deliver on SUN’s idea of a healthcare task force, the Paramedic Association’s idea of Ambulance Act reform, and the Grow-Your-Own healthcare staffing strategy proposed by SARM, nurse practitioners and the Official Opposition.

“We’ve been calling for some of these measures for months, like better breast cancer care and more training seats, but we have zero faith that the Sask. Party will be able to fix the crisis they created. The party that broke our hospitals can’t be trusted to fix them,” said Beck. “This province used to be a nation-leader in healthcare. If there was ever a time to pop the hood on our health system and repair it from the ground up, this budget would have been it.”

“Our hospitals and healthcare aren't working when we need them, our classrooms are at a breaking point and the people working in them feel ignored and disrespected,” added Finance Critic Trent Wotherspoon. “There’s a reason why thousands of hardworking teachers are in front of this building. They remember a 2016 election-year budget like this one that was heavy on promises that were broken with devastating cuts imposed instead.”

The government’s election-year budget predicts a sluggish growth, with GDP in 2024 expected to grow by only 1.0% and flatline over the medium term.​ Saskatchewan is projecting a loss of $950 million in corporate taxes next year as companies and workers suffer under the poor economic record of the Sask. Party government.


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