The Wall government’s mismanagement of our economy continues to grow along with the debt and as this budget shows, Mr. Wall really doesn’t know how to fix the problems he has created and has resorted to desperate measures.
PC Party Leader Rick Swenson said, “Their inability to properly forecast resource revenue over the last ten years has meant the Wall government was spending money they did not have. Every year when they found out the money wasn't there to balance the budget, they tried to blame it on slumping commodity prices. Instead of having a long-term vision to value-add our economy, the Sask Party has tried a piece meal solution to fixing the problems and are now making cuts to spending without thinking of the long term effects of those cuts.
“The latest in the growing list of poor decisions is how the grants in lieu of taxes policy is administered to municipalities across the province. The grants in lieu paid by SaskPower and SaskEnergy are being eliminated for Saskatoon and Regina and after much protest, capped at 30% in other communities. This policy has been in place for more than fifty years and is now suddenly withdrawn with no consultation after most municipal budgets have been set.”
“In other words, Mr. Wall's government is asking municipalities who cannot run deficits to pay for his mismanagement of our economy. If the Sask Party government felt this long-standing policy was a detriment to fixing Saskatchewan's economy, then the proper thing to do would have been to sit down with municipal government, announce that this program would be ending and a new regime of compensation for the services municipalities provide to provincial government entities would be compensated in a different way. That way a clear message would be sent that all Crown Corporations would be treated equally along with the communities they serve. Simply cherry picking which Crowns pay grants in lieu to help the Sask Party's political agenda is no way to fix our budget problems."
Swenson concluded, “It’s obvious to the PC Party and every Saskatchewan taxpayer that the Wall government is floundering and urban taxpayers of Saskatchewan will be on the hook to pay Mr. Wall's bills."
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