Here’s a look at the parties’ position on the key issues.
The numbers are in.
The OBA and PLP have shared their visions for how our tax dollars should be spent over the next year and, to no one’s surprise, there are differences. Both parties are wrangling with difficult questions. Should government undergo a massive restructuring? What should that look like? How much should spending be slashed? What about marijuana; should it be legalized? The list goes on.
Turns out the OBA and PLP do not admit to agreeing on much. When Finance Minister E.T. ‘Bob’ Richards said the government plans on cutting $70 million of public spending without layoffs this year, although public sector job losses may be necessary next year, his PLP counterpart, Shadow Finance Minister David Burt, was there to challenge the veracity of that comment.
“This is just not possible,” said Mr. Burt, whose party has proposed $30 million less in public spending cuts than the OBA. “I also question the economic wisdom of inflicting further cuts on the economy when our economy remains in a fragile state.”
Central to Mr. Richards’ budget proposal is a slew of prospective recommendations on changing the structure of the way certain government services are delivered to the public.
Specifically, the minister says government is considering a slew of departments for either mutualization, outsourcing or privatization. The PLP, meanwhile, has resisted calls for privatisation, although appears more receptive to mutualisation — the process through which companies, or in this case government entities, are turned into cooperatives where the majority employees have a majority ownership stake.