- June 16, 2011 - 16:53
I cannot believe this column. What utter uninformed, contractictory, and biased comments. Not very long ago people were turned off by the finance minister using a debt clock reminding people how important it is to get our debt out of control. Many people were calling on more spending for roads, increased wages for doctors, increased wages for nurses, tax relief to make our economy more competitive, and new long term care facilities just to name a few. The author says "oh yeah, we need those things", but don't spend any extra money. What an impossible standard. The finance minister has been in the news on numerous occasions, for many years, saying the oil won't last forever, the debt is still too high, the price of oil could drop - but you lecture him now as if all of this is something new. The provincial DIRECT DEBT has been paid down $400 million dollars last year alone. Another $400 million is budgeted this year. There is a financial penalty for paying bonds before they are due and the bonds have been paid each and every year for the past seven years without borrowing new money. The debt has actually increased from last year because of an ACCRUED pension liability, in which actuary's predict was costs will be 10, 20, 30 years down the road based on a market return and what is in the fund currently. The pension "liability" goes up and down based on how markets perform. You could put more money in the reserve, but if makets do poorly, and your "accrued pension debt" can actually go up. The market could rebound the next year and suddenly the accrual can change dramatically. Yes, more money should be put in this reserve, but remember every dollar from the $2bilion atlantic accord payment went directly to this! So over $4billion has been paid towards the debt in the last seven years - a 33% decrease! And you sit there and complain about infrastructure being built and doctors getting raises, when i'm sure you complained about poor roads and underpaid doctors in the past. Shame.
- Cyril Rogers
- June 11, 2011 - 17:33
This is my biggest concern. The last budget was a vote-buying one but the government forgot to tell us it was simply spending the money we will not have in future years. We cannot continue to live beyond our means and neglect the traditional base of rural Newfoundland - the fishery. It IS sustainable but the provincial and federal governments are equally guilty of destroying it by givning in to the greed of big corporations and interest groups willing to trade it off for European trade. This government has not undertaken to build our economy through long term planning and needs to go. We simply cannot afford another four years of the PC's. If people honestly think they are the only option, heaven help us. There is a gathering storm, folks! Let's not waste the oportunity to toss out a group that wants to take the easy route.
- W McLean
- June 12, 2011 - 11:36
The last five budgets were vote- (and poll-) buying budgets. I find it remarkable that it takes Danny Williams being out of office for months before academic and media personalities start kicking the tires on seven years of his policies. And "remarkable" is not the word I'd really like to use. Where have everyone's eyes, ears, and brains been for the past eight years?
- They are uttering the words Ottawa wants to hear
- June 11, 2011 - 14:19
Mr. Wangersky says in this article........ " We’ve been awash with oil-funded surplus budgets for years, financial institutions regularly pick us out as the province to watch for economic growth, and the provincial government isn’t afraid to characterize us as having a “sizzling” economy". Not only do financial institutions say those positive things about our economy but the National News Media do as well, the same ones that aided and abetted in having NL's natural resources developed and then having them toed away for the economic benefit of creating industries, jobs and infrastructure for the other provinces of Canada. The Federal Government, no doubt, is prompting the financial institutions and news media to report this positivity, without any real statistics to back it up, other than the fact that monies are received in a big way as payment for Newfoundland and Labrador Oil development. More than money is needed to make a vibrant sizzling economy, industry with jobs, and infrastructure needs to be created, as well. Of course, the reason they are putting a positive spin on things now is because they want others to think that the province of Newfoundland and Labrador didn't suffer economically over the past 62 years from the giveaway of its natural resource base. They know that Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have woken up from their long 62 year sleep and are demanding answers. They can't pull the wool over our Newfoundland and Labrador eyes on that one any longer, we know that we lost our natural resource base for the benefit of the other provinces and that we have the highest Unemployment rate in the country, with the lowest level of infrastructure of any province in the Canadian Federation. And besides they know that we didn't get any of the Federal goodies like Federal Regional Offices, Military bases, etc. handed to our province on a silver platter. Yes, indeed the words we hear from the financial institutions and the National Media is what the Federal Government wants to hear, and have probably, no doubt, planted in their ears. Somehow they think by uttering those positive statements they are erasing the sins of the past where it, Ottawa, also aided and abetted in the pilfering of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador's natural resource base for the benefit of the other provinces and itself, which saw the province of Newfoundland and Labrador fail to thrive economically.
- Kick them out
- June 11, 2011 - 09:20
And this is the exact same government that believes it's wise to invest in Muskrat Falls.