Dunderdale defends fiscal record amid job cuts
Premier's remarks made as 98 more government workers laid off
The Newfoundland and Labrador government laid off 98 employees today, bringing the total number of job cuts so far this year to about 160.
At the same time, Premier Kathy Dunderdale was defending her government's management of the province's finances in the House of Assembly.
The legislature reopened Thursday, the first session since government announced the province is facing a whopping deficit.
Liberal Opposition Leader Dwight Ball wasted no time grilling Dunderdale.
"I ask the premier, why are you using this death-by-a-thousand-cuts approach by throwing hard-working Newfoundlanders and Labradorians out of work?" said Ball.
"Now that we're hearing daily about job losses, is this an admission that your government is responsible for mismanagement?"
"We're responsible for one of the most booming economies in this country," Dunderdale responded.
Fiscal situation 'was expected'
The premier said in recent years the government has instituted low tuition and housing rates for Memorial University students, tax cuts for residents, and half a billion dollars in public service raises.
Dunderdale said while the government appreciates the work of public employees, the current fiscal situation shouldn't surprise anyone.
"We're facing a deficit in 2013-2014, a deficit that has been forecasted for a number of years," she said.
"Anybody paying attention to our budget documents in the last number of years would know that this deficit was expected."
The government has also cut programs, instituted a hiring freeze, and has frozen MHA salaries at least until 2015.