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Thursday, December 13, 2012 

Premier Brad Wall Strips SaskPower Bank Account Of $120 Million AND Then Immediately Raises Power Rates To Sask Families

Here's how things work in Saskatchewan. Brad Wall is a right winger who does not like Crown corporations or public enterprise of any kind. But, because the Saskatchewan Party lost the 1999 and 2003 Elections over the matter of 'privatization' .. Wall has pledged to leave the Crown corps alone.

However ideology quite often trumps electoral promises for Premier Wall.  As a result, Wall has the bad habit of stripping every nickel he can find from Saskatchewan's utility crowns in order to hand out even more tax breaks to the oil and potash industry. 

Wall's fiscal policy forces Saskatchewan's utility crown corporations to borrow money from the bank and then to 'contribute' the borrowed cash as a 'dividend' to the province's General Revenue Fund. 

Well .. he's at it again. $120 Million stripped from Saskatchewan Power Corporation will go into the mix for more corporate tax cuts and Saskatchewan families will have to pay for it with an increase to their power rates.

"The Sask. Party’s approval of a five-per-cent power rate hike is a direct result of its raid on the Crown last year. The Sask. Party government took $120 million from SaskPower’s bank accounts last year. Now, businesses and families will pay $90.8 million more for power in 2013.

Trent Wotherspoon, the NDP’s critic for SaskPower, said the out-of-pocket increase is a sneaky way of taking more from businesses and families. “SaskPower has been forced to turn to the wallets of everyday families,” said Wotherspoon. “The Sask. Party’s surprise, last-minute cash grab from the Crown is another way of getting more money from Saskatchewan people -- not to improve SaskPower, but to cover for the Sask. Party’s budget mistakes.”

Wotherspoon said that current demands on SaskPower mean the Crown should retain its own funds to reinvest in infrastructure and improved services to promote smart growth. The dividend raid was a last-minute surprise, after a budget-time Sask. Party promise not to strip SaskPower’s profits.

“Unfortunately, taking an extra five per cent from your pocket won’t get SaskPower ahead,” said Wotherspoon. “The rate increase is necessary only to pay off part of the Sask. Party’s raid.” 

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