Budget forecast calls for more cloudy skies

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So, new Finance Minister Charlene Johnson, in her first budget, promises the province a big deficit. Not a glamorous start for Ms. Johnson, the inexperienced keeper of the purse.

A Telegram reporter asked Johnson, following the press conference on March 28, if this was an election budget? She refused to answer The Telegram reporter’s important and obvious question of the day.

All politicians, regardless of party, are committed to one common goal: staying in office. Without monitary clout, any politicial party is doomed to failure on election day.

If the Tories think that fiscal responsibility spells big deficit, then according to Johnson they are right.

Former premier Brian Peckford is famous for his “some day the sun will shine and have not will be no more” slogan.

The key here is “some day.”

There has been little sun in March and less in the administration of our provincial government. We may as well let the directors of the Royal Bank run the show. Next thing, the oil companies will take over the development of Muskrat Falls.

A staggering $537-million deficit with

$9.8 billion of debt this year is shameless. Where is all the money coming in to the province from oil revenues going? It appears we are worse off than ever.

Our political system is continuing to chug along on the wings of wealthy investors and corporations. We hope sometime soon to see disclosure reform (again). Maybe then we will understand who is really holding the purse strings.

We must remember that money buys power and ultimately votes. Fiscal responsibility is just a stepping stone along the way, according to this administration.

Unfortunately, the likable Johnson has to be the bearer of the bad news this time around.

 

Bill Westcott

Clarke’s Beach

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