Jones says budgetary spending ahead of current and future revenues

Staff ~ The Telegram
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Government's theme for Budget 2010 was an investment in our children, however,
Opposition Liberal Leader Yvonne Jones said today' provincial budget shows that government's current spending approach is leaving the problem of balancing the books to "our children and grandchildren.
She said the budget has increased government spending this year by more than five per cent resulting in a deficit of over $194 million, in addition to last year's deficit of almost $300 million and projected deficits for the foreseeable future.
Jones noted this year's deficit is predicated on oil prices of $83 per barrel and a 60 per cent increase in mining revenues this fiscal year. If those revenues are not achieved, the deficit will be much greater.
"I have raised concerns that if we cannot balance the budget when we have more money than we ever had in our history, it will be difficult to balance the books in years to come when non-renewable resource revenues begin to drop," Jones said. "I fear the numbers used in today's budget are overly optimistic and the actual deficit could be substantially more.
"This government's spending decisions are starting to catch up to them and it will ultimately be the people of the province who will have to pay."
Jones is also concerned with the apparent rural-urban divide that is evident in this budget's spending. The fishery and forestry industries are struggling, along with rural communities and its people. While overall income in the province is increasing due to higher paying jobs in the urban areas, there are more people using social assistance than was budgeted over the last 12 months and fewer jobs in rural areas.
"This budget is not looking at the situation in rural Newfoundland and Labrador and addressing the concerns of residents," she said. "We are spending $164 million to invest in Nalcor, yet Municipal Operating Grants, forestry investments and new fishery initiatives barely receive a mention in the budget documents."
Even though there are significant gaps in the budget and initiatives that were not considered priorities, Jones did note that there were some areas of positive investment in the budget. Initiatives to improve child, youth and family services, threshold increases to the prescription drug program, greater access to insulin pump therapies and the expansion of dialysis in areas such as Port aux Basques and Labrador City were all issues highlighted by the Opposition over the past year.

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Port aux Basques

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Recent comments

  • flexxa
    July 02, 2010 - 13:28

    ...and if they didn't spend the opposition would have something to say about that too! Dammed if you do, dammed if you don't NL politics.

  • Tom
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    Yvonne Jones needs to shut up. If the government did not have the money in the budget to spend, she would be out bitching about there not being enough money for certain things. She really has no clue. I cant believe the Liberals have kept this mouth piece around this long as leader. Get rid of her or forever sit as a small opposition.

  • Saucy Face
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    That's it Yvon? Huh, stick to something you know and leave the important things to those in the know... Sorry, my mistake, talking about things you know nothing about is all that you know.

  • Brett
    July 02, 2010 - 13:08

    Actually - I think the children will be paying for their education once they come of age... Big whack of spending there...

    It's an investment to put infrastructure in place as projects come online. It's not the spending of money without any new revenue coming in.

    Heck look at St. John's and NL's infrastructure compared to the infrastructure of modern cities. Deplorable.

    How many schools were closed down last year with students in trailers because of repair/maintenance issues? The year before?

    I'm sick of an opposition who tries to politicize every decision instead of work towards a solution.

  • flexxa
    July 01, 2010 - 20:15

    ...and if they didn't spend the opposition would have something to say about that too! Dammed if you do, dammed if you don't NL politics.

  • Tom
    July 01, 2010 - 19:50

    Yvonne Jones needs to shut up. If the government did not have the money in the budget to spend, she would be out bitching about there not being enough money for certain things. She really has no clue. I cant believe the Liberals have kept this mouth piece around this long as leader. Get rid of her or forever sit as a small opposition.

  • Saucy Face
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    That's it Yvon? Huh, stick to something you know and leave the important things to those in the know... Sorry, my mistake, talking about things you know nothing about is all that you know.

  • Brett
    July 01, 2010 - 19:43

    Actually - I think the children will be paying for their education once they come of age... Big whack of spending there...

    It's an investment to put infrastructure in place as projects come online. It's not the spending of money without any new revenue coming in.

    Heck look at St. John's and NL's infrastructure compared to the infrastructure of modern cities. Deplorable.

    How many schools were closed down last year with students in trailers because of repair/maintenance issues? The year before?

    I'm sick of an opposition who tries to politicize every decision instead of work towards a solution.