PC MLA Houston says provincial budget is worrisome

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When he looks at the provincial budget, Pictou Centre MLA and finance critic Tim Houston says he’s pretty worried by what he sees.

He said massive spending increases and a large deficit are both troubling.

The Liberals are forecasting a $279 million dollar deficit for the 2014-15 fiscal year and deficits as well for the next two years after that.

Houston said that will increase the provincial debt over the course of the Liberal’s term in power by more than $1 billion.

“Those are things that concern us,” he said.

The NDP had predicted a $16 million surplus for the 2013-14 fiscal year but it ended up $562 million in the red. What’s troubling is that the Liberals are forecasting a deficit to begin.

He said he’s also sad to see that the government is cutting the graduate retention program which will impact about 30,000 Nova Scotians. He said we should be trying to do what we can to keep our youth here.

Houston also questions whether the Liberals plan to consolidate health authorities will save money in the end.

On the positive side, he said he is glad to see the Liberals are putting more money into education and early learning.

“That’s a good priority,” he said. “I do applaud that.”

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  • Which is it?
    April 04, 2014 - 07:21

    Mr. Houston speaks out of both sides of his mouth. He chastises the government for forecasting a deficit (based on the reality of a less-than-balanced budget by the former government). Then he criticizes the government for saving $49.5 million this year by ending the retention program. Let's see what your budget would look like, Mr. Finance Critic!