Nfld. & Labrador

Budget 2015: 7 reactions to the Tories' fiscal plan

Groups are reacting to Newfoundland and Labrador's current fiscal situation and the budget that's suppose to bring it back to surplus in five years.

As Newfoundland and Labrador Finance Minister Ross Wiseman began reading his 55-page provincial budget speech, reaction was pouring in from opposition parties, union heads and organizations that have their own ideas as to where to cut and spend.

Here's what seven opposition, union and group leaders had to say after sifting through the budget. 

Earle McCurdy, Newfoundland and Labrador NDP

"The government acted during the good times, as if that would last forever, [kind of] like the grass hopper fiddling through the summer … What this is is an election year budget, so I'd say God help us in a year's time … What I do believe is when I look ahead at the projections four or five years ahead, quite frankly I think someone had fairly rose-tinted glasses on for those." 

Jerry Earle, NAPE 

"We're concerned about the pre-budget announcements which were very negative; 1,420 positions taken out of the public service, that has an effect no the services. It also has an effect on young people now because that's jobs that they're planning on not filling."

Dwight Ball, Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador 

"What we know of the HST is that it's a job killer, it's an economic killer … So, if I had to make a choice over borrowing that extra money or increasing the HST, I would borrow more."

Richard Alexander, N.L. Employers' Council

"We're here for a spending issue not necessarily a revenue-generating issue and if taxpayers don't hold them accountable they'll be back again — whatever government is in power — looking for tax increases again." 

Kim Keating, St. John's Board of Trade

"We're here to help business succeed and business succeeds when government creates an environment that fosters business growth. We are concerned about the tax. It's something we've cautioned the government about, we do have a softening economy right now. We do not want in any shape or form to deter consumer spending and business investment." 

Mary Shortall, Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour

"There's no discussion around minimum wage, there's no additional spending in childcare — which will alleviate some of the problems, even the subsidy isn't increased in this budget. There's not much of a mention of social housing, no money for social housing."

Churence Rogers, Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador

"We were a little bit disappointed that we saw the increase on HST because, of course, that will impact the first money that we see in the initial year of the HST rebate. However, what we're excited about is the long-term impact of this HST rebate. For us it means, over the next five to ten years, tens of millions of dollars going into the municipal coffers." 

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