CPI increase bad news for Nova Scotians

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In Nova Scotians ever needed an indication that something may be wrong with the provincial economic the latest consumer price index numbers should a scary signpost of where we could be heading as a province.

It should also provide members of Nova Scotia’s two opposition parties with some useful cannon fodder as they attempt to discredit the jobs creation package advocated by the NDP government and the direction it’s attempting to take the province.

Figures released Friday by Statistics Canada show the province’s consumer price index had the biggest jump in January of any province in the country. At 1.4 per cent it’s almost three times the national average with things like electricity and gasoline leading the way.

A Stats Canada analyst said things like home and mortgage insurance were the largest pressure on the CPI.

But the fact that gas is up five per cent and electricity up four per cent is also very troubling because while not everyone owns a house, most Nova Scotians own a car and pay for electricity to heat their home – rented or owned.

It’s equally troubling when you consider the price of gas dropped nationally and electricity remained stable. With Nova Scotia Power requesting more power rate hikes to pay for its conversion to greener energy and to help pay for the Muskrat project, it appears the province will continue to buck the national trend and we all will pay a little, or a lot, more.

With food and clothing also increasing as well, it’s not news many Nova Scotia residents are going welcome because as the CPI increases so too does the pressure on them to make ends meet.

Some jobs in Nova Scotia are tied to the rise of the consumer price index, but many jobs are at or just above minimum wage. There’s no CPI increase for those employees and the resulting gap between the haves and the have-nots is going to continue to increase.

It would be easy to point the finger at the provincialgovernment, which is exactly what the Conservatives and Liberals are going to do as we move closer to an election. While the NDP can’t shoulder all the blame for the increased cost of living it must bear some of the responsibility and must take some action in those areas it can control to ease the financial burden on those who are barely treading water above the poverty line. That includes going to bat for Nova Scotians when it comes to what some may construe as corporate greed among utilities and big oil – firms that are more concerned with the return on investment than whether not John or Jane Doe can fuel their car, heat their home or feed their family.

Organizations: NDP, Statistics Canada, Stats Canada Nova Scotia Power Conservatives

Geographic location: Nova Scotians, Nova Scotia

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  • Tim Rhude
    March 01, 2013 - 07:24

    Once again people jump to pointless conclusions from data that the can not even comprehend. To think that the NDP has brought this great province to it's economic knees in three short years is an absolute joke. The damage that this province suffers is the result of decades of abuse and mismanagement. It is a problem that will take a long time to resolve. All indicators say that Nova Scotia has been well managed through one of the worst recessions in generations one that the federal Con's said was not going to happen. Every time the government announces they are going to cut expenditure someone stands up to say no! Something has to give and to think one of the other two political parties is going to be any better - remember they are the ones that created this mess!

  • Johnny smoke
    February 25, 2013 - 08:03

    This is really bad news for the N.D.P who like to portray themselves as guardians of families.when in effect they are anything but. Their whole mantra while governing for the last four years has been to cater to the high and mighty public utility's and to the public sector unions. Recently I observed a half page picture of none other than Joan Jessome announcing to all who would listen that her union brethren would not look kindly on any wage increase that did not match of exceed four per cent per annum. Then I turn the page and read that none other than our most favorite utility is already preparing to return to the trough seeking approval for another raiding party in regards to proposed wind farms. It seems that they want to be partners and have their costs paid by the rate payers while get this, awarding themselves the same feed in tarriffs as other participants who have to raise their own capital. This is fully in keeping with Mr Dexter's previous announcements that a 9.2% return on equity is not excessive. Excuse me sir, but a 9.2% is not only excessive it is obscene in today's markets. As well the addition of some five thousand public servants during your term is also obscene. Now the cost of these excesses are impacting the cost of living in this province. What is your next move? To the back benches? Or how about out the door completely? Smart move, one that I wholly endorse, the sooner the better for all concerned.