Party leaders react to Liberal budget
Taxes staying put and significant changes to education up for discussion.
Finance Minister Diana Whalen introduced the Liberal government's first budget since coming to power today.
Here are the party leader reactions:
Nova Scotia Premier and Liberal leader Stephen McNeil says the province is going to start the process of doing a line by line review to control spending inside the government.
He says the time has come to go into “fine savings” to make sure government programs are sustainable and efficient.
“There’s about $140 million in wage settlements alone in this document and we had to move forward on them,” said McNeil.
“There was a couple of other priority adjustments that have been made and students have had to deal with them.”
“The minister of finance has made it crystal clear that austerity for public sector workers is going to be a significant piece of what this government is going to do in the coming years and other budgets,” said NDP interim leader Maureen MacDonald.
MacDonald says the Liberal budget guarantees teacher to student ratios but refuses to consider nurse to patient ratios.
“Budgets are about choices and they’re making choices here,” said MacDonald.
“I call that picking winners and losers in public sector employment.”
PC leader Jamie Baillie asks why the new government did not try to hold the line on spending and civil service jobs instead of running a $280 million deficit out of the gate.
“The Liberals have made their choice to spend our money, not return it to Nova Scotians,” said Baillie.
“They’re adding over 500 new bureaucrats to the government payroll. Health administration is up by 50 people. They’re not cutting back on administration help they're adding to it.”