According to platform Baillie would institute capital spending deep freeze
September 11, 2013
(Halifax, N.S.) NDP candidate and Finance Minister Maureen MacDonald said today that Jamie Baillie’s platform either made an enormous accounting error or he intends to make major cuts to capital spending all over Nova Scotia.
“Simply put, Mr. Baillie did not account for capital spending. That means if he were elected shovels would come out of the ground in Nova Scotia,” said MacDonald.
“That includes projects like the Aberdeen Hospital expansion and the new school in Eastern Passage.”
“The last page in Mr. Baillie’s platform shows that he either plans to immediately halt the majority of capital spending in the province, or he does not have a clear understanding of how the province’s book work,” said MacDonald.
“His platform said he would direct money toward debt repayment each year. But in order to pay down debt each year you must balance the budget and have a surplus larger than the amount required to cover planned capital spending for new projects like schools and hospitals. Mr. Baillie’s costing doesn’t account for the province’s established capital spending.”
MacDonald says that means Baillie intends to make deep cuts to ongoing capital projects in Nova Scotia or he doesn’t understand what he’s saying and will continue to grow the debt, not pay it down.
In order to pay down debt, the province must have a surplus of more than $100 million as the province is required to spend that much annually to cover capital projects already underway or about to start.
The province’s complete capital plan, passed in the fall, can be found at www.gov.ns.ca/treasuryboard/. It outlines all the projects Mr. Baillie would cancel.