Nova Scotia

CFIB says city overspending cost Halifax households $2,869 over 10 years

The Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses says excessive city spending cost household's an average of $2,869 over the past decade.

Business federation says Halifax Regional Municipality overspent by $465M between 2003 and 2013

CFIB says municipal overspending costs each Halifax-area household $2,869 over 10 years. (Brett Ruskin/CBC)

A report from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business says the Halifax Regional Municipality overspent by $465 million between 2003 and 2013.

The advocacy and lobbying group says that overspending cost household's an average of $2,869 over a decade — or just under $24 a month.

The report says Halifax's inflation-adjusted spending on operations grew by 20 per cent, which was 2½ times more than the rate of population growth. 

The report also criticized other Canadian cities for spending too much, although it credited some with keeping expenses in check.

CFIB says senior levels of government should freeze additional general-purpose funding to municipalities until cities "better manage their operating spending."

In a news release, CFIB said the problem lies with employee compensation. In the case of Halifax, wages, salaries and benefits account for more than half of the city's operating spending.

During the 10-year period studied in the report, CFIB says real spending on HRM employee salaries, wages and benefits grew by 38 per cent, compared to the municipality's eight per cent population growth.

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