Tories promise to reduce civil service in platform
Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie promises to balance books for next 4 years
Nova Scotia's Progressive Conservatives are promising to balance the books for the next four years, reduce the size of the civil service by 10 per cent and cut the number of health authorities to three.
The Tories released their platform on Wednesday ahead of the Oct. 8 election.
The document promises to reduce the harmonized sales tax by two percentage points to 13 per cent regardless of the province's fiscal health, though Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie said he would balance the books for the next four years.
Baillie also said a Progressive Conservative government would freeze electricity rates for five years.
"No more hikes, no more electric shock when you open your power bills every January," he told a news conference in Halifax on Wednesday morning.
The Liberals have suggested Baillie's plan won't work in the long run because consumers and businesses will be hit with a big bill for deferred utility costs once the freeze is removed. But Baillie disputed that Wednesday, saying the rising costs faced by Nova Scotia Power to meet renewable energy goals would drop because the Progressive Conservatives would delay the deadline for those targets.
Baillie said his party's commitments would save Nova Scotia $200 million annually. He also committed to implementing a moratorium on rural school closures and setting aside money for clinical trials of so-called liberation therapy for multiple sclerosis.
They estimate their new program spending would cost $47.8 million in their first full year in office and rise to $62.5 million by the fourth year.