Liberal do-nothing budget snubs students, young grads and nurses
April 3, 2014
NDP Leader Maureen MacDonald says Stephen McNeil’s first budget does more harm than good.
“The Liberal budget is a pretty unimpressive read overall,” said MacDonald. “But if you are a fan of good fiction I suggest you go back and read the Liberal platform. This budget represents a lot of broken promises by the Liberal government.”
The biggest victims of the budget are students and young grads after the Liberals axed the $45 million graduate retention rebate program. Nurses, already under attack from Stephen McNeil’s essential services legislation, are now facing an over 10% cut to the nursing strategy.
“Apparently Stephen McNeil and his cabinet still haven’t read the Ivany Report,” said MacDonald. “The government should be doing everything possible to keep young Nova Scotians here at home, particularly in rural communities. But what are the Liberals doing – cutting a program designed to keep young people here in Nova Scotia.”
The broken Liberal promises contained in the budget include:
- Liberals promised to improve nursing strategy but reduced funding by 10%
- Liberals promised to eliminate Jobs Fund but increased its budget by $5 million
- Liberals promised to implement class size caps from grades 4 to 6 in 2014-15, but didn’t follow through
- Liberals promised to reduce departmental spending by 1% but increased departmental spending by $455 million
- Liberals promised to keep Efficiency Nova Scotia independent but are now restructuring the organization
- Liberals promised to implement Sound Recording Tax credit in 2014-15 but none mentioned in budget
“If there is a silver lining in this budget, it’s that the Liberals haven’t done much,” said MacDonald. “But if you read between the lines of the Minister’s speech, it’s sounds as though future austerity cuts aimed at public sector workers are part the Liberal’s broader plan.”