Budget 2023/24 offers no new cost-of-living relief and predicts government will miss their jobs target
REGINA - Today, Official Opposition Leader Carla Beck and Finance Critic Trent Wotherspoon reacted to the Sask. Party’s 2023/24 budget. The budget neglects both the cost-of-living and healthcare crises, and admits that the government will fall short of their 2030 jobs target.
“If you’re a parent struggling to make ends meet, this budget does not help you. If you’re a young person in this province hoping for investments in your future, this budget does not help you. If you’re a burnt-out healthcare worker, this budget does not help you. If you’re a student in an overcrowded classroom, this budget does not help you,” said Beck. “Budgets are about choices, and the Sask. Party chooses to neglect the issues keeping regular people up at night.”
Despite sitting on massive resource revenues, Moe’s out-of-touch budget provides no tax relief, no new tax credits or benefits for families, and no reversal of the Sask. Party’s recent energy and power rate hikes.
“Only 15% of folks say they’re better off financially now compared to a year ago. We have the second highest rates of financial insecurity in Canada and despite the government sitting on massive resource revenues there’s not a stitch of serious cost relief for ordinary Saskatchewan families,” said Beck. “Resources belong to Saskatchewan people and it’s simply unfair for Moe to sit on a pile of cash while people are struggling to stay afloat.”
Individuals on SIS, SAP and SAID benefits will get a meagre dollar-a-day bump. The Opposition has called for years for meaningful increases to income supports and continues to call for an end to the discriminatory practice of pension clawbacks.
Beck also pointed out that this budget fails to rise to the challenges in our health system.
“Our health system is on the verge of collapse and we still don’t see funding to support family docs, team-based care or community health advisory networks. They had a chance to bring forward an ambitious plan for our health system and they blew it,” said Beck. “Instead, they’re ploughing forward with the same old plan that the provincial auditor lambasted.”
Since taking office in February 2018, Scott Moe has had one of the worst economic records in Canada with last-in-the-nation job growth, second-last-in-the-nation economic growth and the largest increase in debt in Saskatchewan’s history.
“According to the Sask. Party’s own figures, they’re predicting they’ll miss their 2030 jobs target,” said Wotherspoon. “You’d think that a government with the worst jobs record in Canada might try to right the ship with a bold vision for more jobs and bigger paychecks. This tired and out-of-touch government is completely out of gas and this budget confirms it.”
The Sask. Party’s out-of-touch budget fails to deliver:
- Cost-of-living relief for cash-strapped families
- A scrapping of their job-killing PST on construction labour
- An end to pension clawbacks
- Tax cuts and lower power and energy bills
- Ambitious investments in healthcare
- A jobs plan to grow our province
- Education funding that keeps pace with inflation
- Emergency funding to prevent tuition hikes
- Harm reduction measures