Government of Newfoundland and Labrador ‘s Actions Are Embarrassing

The Government of my native Province has once again embarrassed us all.

It seems it is not enough to preside over a catastrophic failed mega project like Muskrat Falls( power from which will see Nova Scotians paying less than Newfoundlanders and Labradorians) , watching it finance  a capital cost rising from $7 billion to over $11 billion and counting , no independent review at the start and none even now , but must now subject us to an embarrassingly lame attempt to curb the explosive size of the public service; an attempt no doubt to try and fool the electorate into believing in their management prowess and heroic attempts to reign in an unacceptable deficit.

This weak action of announcing a 287 reduction of non union personnel ( 90 of these positions were already vacant) highlights the incompetence and leadership vacuum so evident in the last several administrations in the Province.

The Province has gained the dubious distinction of having the largest per capita debt in the country ( $27, 542 , RBC numbers) and the largest public service–94 per 1000 people with the national average being 67. It has a deficit this year of over one billion dollars ( $1.5 billion as of budget update Oct 27, 2016) and projected deficits for the foreseeable future.

And all the Government can do in the non union public service is a saving of $20 million annually? This first year only $5 million?

And the Minister of Finance , Cathy Bennett, according to a CBC Report , is backing away from her commitment of a $250 million saving this year in the overall budget?

‘We want to hit those targets. But as we look at all kinds of different information, there’s a whole number of factors that may require us to think of things a little bit differently,” she said.’

When will reality strike?

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7 thoughts on “Government of Newfoundland and Labrador ‘s Actions Are Embarrassing

  1. Let me update you olde b’y. Mar. 31, 2016. Projected Deficit was $1.1 billion. Actual Deficit was $2.2 billion. Why? $1.05 billion drop in oil revenue and $253 in over expenditures. What do you suppose contributed to the over expenditure? $210 million in extra Interest cost. $94 million of which was to finance MUN Pensions. Plus $189 million caring for people. Nursing Homes and the like. Plus $4.3 million in write offs. Gross Debt, ( Liabilities ) $19.4 billion, actual. Interest on Liabilities was $1.114 billion, actual. This year we are off to the banks for $2.6 billion more to fund last year’s debacle plus a little to kickstart us this year. Should increase our debt to a nice round figure of $22 billion. Accompanied of course by the appropriate amount of compound interest. Projected Deficit this year, after the $883 million in new cuts and taxes last Spring was $1.8 billion. Down now to $1.6 billion because of an unexpected windfall in extra oil revenues with the barrel being well above the budgeted $45 dollars. And therein lies the answer to your bewilderment over Cathy backing away from the $250 million cut. She thinks she’s going to get it from $55 dollar oil. So, whats my prognosis? Without an intervention by Canada and/or Quebec. Oops! There’s that Q word again. Insolvency is imminent. Yup. I’m not shittin ya! Do the math Brian. Alberta thinks it has a problem with taking 2.5 cents of every tax dollar to pay Interest. We are at 16 cents and climbing. Forget about the debt. You, me, Ball, Bennett, the Feds and yes, the banks, all know it can NEVER EVER be repaid. And that’s exactly how the banks want it.

    Cheers from the Green Bay
    Dawson

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    • Agreed— not promising and the Government is not showing any leadership —my dealings with the credit rating agencies, and there were many , is that if there is some leadership and responsibility , they will be more understanding.

      It seems it is not enough to preside over a catastrophic failed mega project like Muskrat Falls( power from which will see Nova Scotians paying less than Newfoundlanders and Labradorians) watching and financing a capital cost rising from $7 billion to over $11 billion and counting , with no independent review at the start or even now , but must subject us to a embarrassingly lame attempt to curb the explosive size of the public service; an attempt no doubt to try and fool the electorate into believing in their management prowess and heroic attempts to reign in an unacceptable deficit.

      This weak action of announcing a 287 reduction of non union personnel ( 90 of these positions were already vacant) highlights the incompetence and leadership vacuum so evident in the last several administrations in the Province.

      The Province has gained the dubious distinction of having the largest per capita debt in the country ( $27, 542 , RBC numbers) and the largest public service–94 per 1000 people with the national average being 67. It has a deficit this year of over one billion dollars ( $1.5 billion as of budget update Oct 27, 2016) and projected deficits for the foreseeable future.

      And all the Government can do in the non union public service is a saving of $20 million annually? This first year only $5 million?

      And the Minister

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  2. Fully agree with you on this one Brian. (Must say twenty million for sprung was not Evan a drop in the bucket compared to muskrat.)

    Seems Dawson believes this all started on March 31st. 2016. ( the deficit and debt) It began back in 2010 when NALCOR was conceived and eventually gave birth to muskrat and later sanctioned. 5 percent equity stake in Hebron will be years before we see any return on that, if ever. Also notice you call 55$ oil a windfall over 45$ estimated for 2016. How about the windfall of oil in the 100$ range for several years and very little, if any, attempt to pay down the debt before the oil crash in 2015.

    . Exacty what the banks want?????? Lost me on that one!!!!
    Doug.

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    • Don’t think I spoke of windfall. By the way Willams’ Grand Falls fiasco is never mentioned ( to add to Muskrat) . That cost Canadian taxpayers $160 million. Royalties alone from 2005 to 2015 because of the Atlantic Accord were $15 billion.

      Brian

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  3. Right on Brian, yor are not given enough credit for the Atlantic accord, you were one of the main players in achieving that.

    My comment on windfalls was in response to Dawson, sorry, not to you.

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    • I pushed for it from the time I was Energy Minister , alone until Bill Marshall came along . Cabot Martin on the non elected side with Stev Milan were great supporters of the idea and helped me early on fully appreciate the point. Later people like Cy Abery, Ron Penney were invaluable.

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  4. 8 MHA seats were removed. It was to save money. My seat was sold, theoretically, before anyone was able to take it. Now, my provincial job is gone in theory. Reality for some.

    We can save money in many dour conservative ways. Less theatrical ways over time. Boring ways.

    Instant Musical chairs is an exciting positioning game, not economic strategy.

    Severence is costly. Redrawing boundries. The NDP went along with the tune. Saving money by reducing seats. Now, and then. Saving power. Smartmandering.

    Tax blogs, not books. I dunno. I had my say. Cathy Bennett is a bayman woman (Earle McCurdy’s wife is one too) from Fermuse working for McDonald $ with a thin skin but thick purpose on anti-bullying as the UN props up Wonder Woman. Go figure. Mary Brown for Minister.
    A Virginian.
    Scratch cook.
    My sauce is free. Fact is sacred.
    Tim Horton’s charges 50 cents.

    Honest to Goodness. Mary for Minister.

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