Month: January 2011

Government should not do budgeting this way

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Premier Darrell Dexter’s admission yesterday that he does not intend to implement the “intolerable” measures outlined by school boards confirms that he is playing the old-style political game of budget negotiation, said Progressive Conservative Party Leader Jamie Baillie.

Yesterday, Premier Dexter lashed out at school boards saying they were being irresponsible in “bringing forward these dramatic scenarios”.

“For months, our school boards have been distracted from their focus on educating our kids because of this game-playing by the Premier. No business would go about budgeting this way,” said Baillie. “Mismanagement of the education system eventually shows up in our economy. The Premier should be perfectly clear about his intentions – that is the responsible way to balance the province’s budget.”

Baillie says Nova Scotians are looking for leadership on government spending, but not seeing any.
“The Premier should start by giving school boards the real numbers, and then work with them on a practical implementation,” suggested Baillie.

Baillie and Progressive Conservative Education Critic, Argyle MLA Chris d’Entremont, will meet with school board officials over the next few weeks to identify practical ways to address budget issues.
Baillie says the Premier’s avoidance of difficult decisions has created a pattern of mismanagement on reducing the province’s spending.

The latest fiscal update shows departmental spending is up over $300 million over the previous year. Baillie says mismanagement on spending by the NDP government serves only to allow Nova Scotia’s debt, and debt servicing costs, to grow. He has called on the NDP to balance the province’s budget ahead of their self-imposed 2013-14 deadline.