Thursday, April 8, 2010

Nova Scotians brace for tax increases, deep spending cuts

Nova Scotians brace for tax increases, deep spending cuts

There are times when I'm glad to live in Saskatchewan.

In Saskatchewan, our government made some tough decisions in order to "balance" the budget. I know, people will say that it isn't balanced, and I would agree with them - except that it is balanced according to the historical understanding of the word as used by the NDP governments before this one, but I digress. They made some choices which seemed unpopular - freezing spending and making an attempt to cut fat from the public service mostly through attrition. The one thing that I noted though is that the Saskatchewan government largely left taxes alone. This will have the dual effect of attracting people to the province and allowing business to grow. Yet people complained and protested.

Reading about the Nova Scotian budget, not only did they raise consumption taxes, they too are seeking to reduce their public service by 1000 positions, largely through attrition. That represents 10% of the Nova Scotian public service, and not a peep out of the unions about this budget.

Now, I know that the difference is that this is an NDP government handing down Nova Scotia's budget and cuts, compared to a neo-conservative right wing Saskatchewan Party government bringing down Saskatchewan's budget, but it sure puts things into perspective juxtaposing the very different reactions to a similarly substantial cut to the public service.

Yup, some days it's good to live in Saskatchewan.

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