Saskatchewan New Democratic Party Leader Ryan Meili and Finance Critic Trent Wotherspoon reacted to the Sask. Party’s 2021 Budget that is out of touch with the needs of Saskatchewan families, businesses and communities - and breaks key campaign commitments.
“Scott Moe has failed Saskatchewan. This budget shows that the premier is in over his head and he hasn’t been honest with the people of this province about the realities we’re all facing.” said Meili. “People were having a tough time before COVID-19 hit - and the Sask. Party’s failure to show leadership in containing the pandemic means those families are even further behind. This budget takes the same approach as the government’s pandemic response: weak half measures that don’t get the job done for Saskatchewan people.”
Under Scott Moe, Saskatchewan has led the country in COVID-19 cases throughout 2021, 23,000 more workers are out of a job than last year, and more people are leaving the province year after year.
“Saskatchewan families and businesses are paying the price for Scott Moe’s failure to fight the pandemic and protect our economy,” said Wotherspoon. “There’s no jobs plan in this budget to get struggling families back to work - despite the many opportunities we have to grow and diversify our economy. COVID-19 exposed the real crises in education, health care, long-term care, mental health and addictions - but this government won’t make the crucial investments we need in the services families count on.”
Specifically, the Sask. Party government fails families by:
•Not including a jobs plan that works for people and gets people working
•Not removing the PST from construction labour and restaurant meals
•Taking no responsibility for the Sask. Party’s lack of action to prevent the severe second and now third waves of COVID-19 in Saskatchewan
•Leaving Saskatchewan with the lowest minimum wage in Canada
•Not investing properly in hard-hit areas like long-term care and in our classrooms
•Not acting quickly to diversify our economy and take advantage of the real opportunities in green technology to create sustainable jobs for the future
Meili also pointed out that Premier Moe has gone back on his election commitment to hire 300 more continuing care aides (CCAs) in the Province’s hard hit long term care sector. Budget 2021 only contains a commitment of $6 million for 90 continuing care aides and points to a “three-year, $18.4 million election campaign commitment to hire 300 continuing care aides”. But the fact is the Sask. Party’s election promise makes no mention of this commitment being phased in over three years. In fact, the Sask. Party’s costing document includes $18.4 million each year for all four years of the mandate.
“The government said during the election they would balance the budget by 2024, knowing full well that they would not. That lie was confirmed today. They said there would be no tax increases for families. Instead, property taxes for families are going up. And now we see the government lied to families in the last election about their plans to increase staffing in our hard-hit long-term care facilities,” said Meili. “The truth is, when it comes to what matters most to Saskatchewan families, Scott Moe simply can’t be trusted.”