March 22, 2017 - 3:13pmUpdated: March 22, 2017 - 8:13pm
Kevin Martel/980 CJME
NDP finance critic Cathy Sproule took aim at tax hikes, job cuts, broken promises and debt levels as the Sask. Party delivered their budget on March 22, 2017.
The opposition NDP had choice words for the Wall government over the provincial budget, pointing an accusatory finger.
“With this budget, the Sask. Party prove that they have, once again, lied to the Saskatchewan people and they have failed Saskatchewan people,” said finance critic Cathy Sproule.
She took aim at tax hikes, job cuts, broken promises and debt levels in the budget, indicating that it’s hard to flip to a page in the document and not see one of those items.
“Either the Sask. Party doesn’t get it or they just don’t care anymore,” continued Sproule. “The Sask. Party has clearly forgotten who they are working for.”
They called the government out of touch and arrogant, believing the Sask. Party has learned nothing about supporting Saskatchewan people.
Sproule attacked the move to eliminate STC, saying those who need medical treatment in rural areas — specifically seniors — will be negatively impacted, forced to wait even longer for appointments with specialists in larger urban centres. She said the bus company was scrapped without asking the public, adding the move doesn’t bode well for other crowns, like SaskTel.
The opposition claimed tax and fee increases will total $1 billion and, coupled with cuts to various programs, will translate into $1.32 billion out of the economy. The NDP also focused in on what it called a record debt, saying it’s projected to be over $18 billion.
Sproule said average families would say "ow" when they see the budget.
The opposition said several important areas were left unaddressed in the budget, including specific funding to deal with the growing suicide crisis in northern Saskatchewan or any money to implement recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.