On November 24, 2014 NDP Finance Minister Greg Dewar declared “the goal of our government is to return to surplus in 2016-2017. We're going to achieve this by controlling expenditures.” Today’s last minute release of Public Accounts again illustrates that this was yet another NDP broken promise.
“Greg Dewar said they would return to balance by controlling expenditures,” said Finance Critic Cameron Friesen. “However the release of Public Accounts shows the NDP government spent $204 million more than they budgeted for in 2014/15. Because of this, the deficit is $100 million larger than what was presented in their budget.”
Manitoba received its first credit downgrade in 30 years from Moody’s this spring because of this type of mismanagement, and we are 9th among all provinces in business confidence.
The release of Public Accounts is just the latest example of NDP mismanagement and contempt for open and transparent government. Saskatchewan released their Public Accounts over two months ago. In Manitoba, the dysfunctional Selinger government is on their third finance minister in two years, and they waited until the last possible day to release Public Accounts, as required by law in the Financial Administration Act, 65(2).
“If it wasn’t for a strong year for several Crown Corporations, the deficit would be much worse,” said Friesen. “The NDP received $207 million more from Crown Corporations than they budgeted for. Without that windfall, the deficit would be almost $700 million.”
The NDP cannot be trusted to balance the books. They first promised to balance the budget last year. Due to structural deficits, our provincial debt is over $36 billion and growing. Manitobans are tired of the same NDP broken promises and want a change for the better.