The St. John’s Board of Trade wrapped up a meeting with the business community about the provincial fiscal situation, accusing the government of backtracking on the expected fall mini-budget.
The tone of the room was somber as business leaders each had a chance to give their view on the fiscal challenges facing the province.
Board of Trade Chair Des Whelan says that the business community felt a contract of sorts had been agreed to between government and business. They expected tax hikes in the Spring budget and spending cuts by government in the Fall. With a change in tone leading to concern that spending won’t be brought down in the Fall, Whelan says Board of Trade members reached out to him to discuss what’s to be done about the fiscal situation.
Whelan says that the real concern at the heart is the level of debt the province carries. He says the province is spending more of debt than on education in the Spring budget. He says that’s a big concern for the business community, as it means the future workforce will be impacted if government can’t find a way to deal with its debt problem.
— David Maher (@DavidMaherNL) September 9, 2016
Meanwhile, the Employers’ Council is ramping up its BigGovNL campaign – a satirical look at government spending.
The Employers’ Council says the spring personal tax burden on Newfoundlanders and Labradorians is one of the highest in the country thanks to the spring budget.
Executive Director Richard Alexander says it’s unfair to ask taxpayers to shoulder the burden while government fails to take “meaningful action” to reduce their own spending.