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(St. Johns) Premier Williams must think Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are unbelievably gullible, based on last nights sky is falling economic statement and newfound deficit hysteria.

That reaction comes from CUPE Newfoundland and Labrador President Wayne Lucas who says, Williams seems to be suffering from a new malady - SDS, or Sudden Deficit Syndrome.

At the very least, the premier is being disingenuous with the people of the province. Why did Mr. Williams make so many promises during the election, and why was so little made of the deficit during the campaign?

Now, suddenly the sky is falling and we have to slash and burn and hack away at public services and attack frontline workers, says Lucas. Hes also talking about P3s, public-private-partnerships, which he said he was opposed to, adds Lucas

In reality, the increase in the deficit is minimal when you take out the student loan program purchase and the pension liability - which all of the political parties knew about anyway but hadn’t decided how to account for, says Lucas.

Lucas says, The forecast for the economy is similar if not identical to what it was before, and during the election campaign, so why didnt Williams give voters some warning instead of promises?

Says Lucas, Given the massive round of bargaining we are entering into with public sector workers, the timing of this newfound hysteria is highly suspect, and CUPE is not about to see the services our members provide or their jobs become the scapegoats.

For information:
Wayne Lucas, President, CUPE Newfoundland & Labrador
753-0732 (o) - 727-2509 (Cell)
John McCracken, CUPE Communications Rep.
(902) 455-4180 (o)