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Sunday, October 23, 2011 

Comparing The Platform Costs Of The Main Parties In The Saskatchewan Election

Economist, Erin Weir lays out the fiscal impact of platforms put forward by the two main parties contesting the current Saskatchewan Election:

"Saskatchewan’s two major parties have unveiled their election platforms.

The NDP’s fiscal plan is to collect higher potash royalties and reinvest the proceeds in public priorities like healthcare, education and housing. Columnist Murray Mandryk notes the spectre of Erin Weir.

The NDP has expressed a willingness to discuss sharing resource revenues with First Nations. The Sask Party criticizes the NDP for not costing this possibility.

However, as Mike McCracken observes, successful resource-sharing arrangements with the Nisga’a in BC and First Nations in the Yukon took a decade to negotiate. There is no reason to believe that potential Saskatchewan negotiations would affect provincial finances during the four years covered by the NDP platform.

The Sask Party’s Seinfeld platform is a collection of miniscule announcements (and re-announcements) that can be funded out of projected budget surpluses. Greg Fingas points out the similarity to Harper’s federal campaign strategy.

While the Sask Party revels in the modesty of its campaign promises, guaranteeing rock-bottom royalties for potash companies is extremely costly. It would forgo at least $700 million annually by 2015-16.

As the following table shows, the main difference between the Sask Party and NDP platforms is not the dollar amount but its allocation among various priorities."
Erin Weir
Progressive Economics Forum

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