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Thursday, November 19, 2009 

Saskatchewan Party Government Registers Whopping Huge $1 Billion Deficit!

Want further proof that Right Wing 'fiscal conservatism' is a myth? Look no further than Saskatchewan's Mid-Term Financial Update tabled by the Brad Wall government this morning. Rather than a modest surplus, grossly inaccurate estimates of revenue means that Saskatchewan will experience a $1.05 Billion deficit for 2009/10.

"The release of the government’s mid-year financial report Thursday shows it now projecting it will take in only $109 million from potash royalties and taxes – $1.8 billion below what it forecast in its spring budget.

The government is now spending more than it is taking in, even with higher-than-expected oil royalties, tax revenues and federal transfers.

That has required a drawdown from the reserve Growth and Financial Security Fund of $564.3 million and a special dividend from Crown Investments Corp. of $460 million from the sale of the government’s share of SaskFerco.

However on a summary basis – which includes all of the operations of government including the Crowns – a deficit projected at $25 million at budget is now pegged at $1.05 billion."

The Star Phoenix

The Brad Wall government was warned in the spring that their revenue projections were grossly out of touch with economic reality. They did not listen and now the people of Saskatchewan will pick up the tab for Brad Wall's fiscal buffoonery.

In March, during this year's Budget Debate, NDP Finance Critic, Harry Van Mulligen said in the Legislature ...
"Mr. Speaker, in this budget there‟s another set of economic
assumptions that need to be questioned. Here I speak of
revenues from potash in Saskatchewan. Twenty per cent — 1 in
$5 of all of the revenues in this budget — come from potash
royalties and related surcharges. That‟s a huge number. And
when so many eggs are placed in one basket, Mr. Speaker, we
need to be careful.

That kind of increase in spending, Mr. Speaker, is not

Mr. Speaker, wild revenue assumptions, out-of-control
spending, and a mounting debt problem, this budget is all about
short-term gain for long-term pain.

I worry, Mr. Speaker. I worry that this government can‟t help
themselves when it comes to spending money. I worry that the
private sector forecasters are right and that the Saskatchewan
Party is wrong. I worry that they have gambled on potash and
will come up short.
I worry that they are not helping the most
vulnerable in our province. I worry that spending initiatives
today will not be affordable tomorrow. And I worry that the
government is just not up to the job.

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, the government would have you
believe that this budget is strong and steady. We think this
budget is wrong already.

Premier Brad Wall was not available to speak to the media on his government's irresponsible budgeting. Wall had conveniently scheduled a trip out of the county in order to duck the political fallout from his government's Mid-Term budget update.

-Official Opposition Website has more details ....

A comment from Ryan Foster at this CBC story nails it:
"...I find in interesting when the economy goes south under a right-wing government its all stuff outside their control. When it goes south under the NDP, its the NDP's "socialism". What a sad, partisan biased double-standard and what a joke."

I went over to SDA to see if there was any mention of this. Oddly there wasn't. Why wouldn't they take the Sask Party to task over something like this? Not surprising really.

Eric, Kate she has been treated pretty shabbily by Wall and the Sask Party. While they were in opposition, they loved her - but the minute they formed government, they didn't have the time of day for her. I don't expect SDA to have a lot of sympathy for Wall and his crew.

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