Reacting to the provincial budget, CUPE NL President Wayne Lucas says, “The budget tabled by Finance Minister Cathy Bennett cuts hundreds of jobs, makes the tax system less fair, and is a missed opportunity to boost our economy.”

The budget could have invested in measures like child care, to grow the province’s economy, says Lucas.

“Rather than following the lead of their federal counterparts, who have said the right approach for government is to invest in the economy through deficit financing, the Ball government has opted for wrong-headed cuts to services and jobs. Experience around the world shows you can’t cut your way to growth and progress.”

The budget could have worked to build a more fair tax system, but instead is generating much-needed revenue in a regressive way. “Under the temporary deficit reduction levy, a millionaire pays $900, while someone making $50,000 pays $600. Where’s the equity in that?”, says Lucas.

“The job cuts are a short-sighted approach, and a betrayal of their election promise of no layoffs just a few short months ago. This hits our young people especially hard, and is a lost opportunity to invest in our future,” says Lucas.

CUPE is also concerned the government is still considering wasting money on privatization, ignoring the strong evidence from auditors general and other independent experts. 

“Any move by this government toward privatization through P3s – so-called public-private partnerships - or Alternate Service Delivery (ASD) amounts to a potential disaster in the making.  

“I strongly suggest that Minister Bennett ask Nova Scotia about its experience with P3s, where taxpayers just spent close to $800 million to lease 39 schools for 20 years, and they still don’t own the schools.”