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A “Risky” Financial Crisis: A Plan to Bail Out NL’s Furniture

To avoid disaster, the committee recommends that the government pass a law that does not allow it to manage the budget deficit and reduce public spending by 5%.

On the list of cuts: Elimination of both school boards, including Conseil scolaire francophone provincial (CSFP).

It also proposes a series of tax increases, shifting service delivery, and massive cuts in the civil service.

The county’s financial situation needs to be corrected, Refers to the committee formed by the Prime Minister in a report consisting of 38 recommendations and 338 pages.

The most important question that we ask ourselves is why has the government not taken any action? Committee chair Moya Green says, noting that the analysis is based on other studies and surveys already conducted by the government.

Unsustainable debt

The commission notes that the public debt of Newfoundland and Labrador County, which has a population of 521,000, is definitely unsustainable.

Moya Green, chair of the independent committee looking into restructuring the government of Newfoundland and Labrador, presented her report from the UK on Wednesday.

Photo: Radio Canada / Patrick Butler

At present, the payment of interest on debt accounts for 11.1% of public spending. Annual public spending increased by $ 4 billion, an 80% increase between 2004-05 and 2020-2021. Over the past decade, the province has consistently suffered from a structural deficit.

According to the report, the government risks adding $ 7 billion to provincial debt over the next six years. The commission notes that this amount represents $ 2 billion more than the total debt accumulated in the first 45 years after the province entered the Union in 1949.

Newfoundland and Labrador’s various financial liabilities, which have a workforce of only 260,000, represent a total debt of $ 47.3 billion. This represents a burden of $ 182,000 per worker and $ 215,000 per household.

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How reasonable is it to force our children and grandchildren to pay off debts? What future do we leave for our children and grandchildren? He asks the committee in its report.

6-year plan

The Committee notes that the financial situation of Newfoundland and Labrador makes it difficult for the county to borrow money. So he proposed a 6-year plan for the government to save furniture.

In particular, the report recommends reducing the size of the civil service and the possibility of privatizing some services. Prime Minister Andrew Fury said that there will be consultations before the proposed changes are implemented. Mr Furey and Ms Greene clarified in February that the report is just a file Starting point.

Andrew Fury.

Andrew Fury, prime minister of Newfoundland and Labrador, was criticized when the decision was made not to publish the report on the county’s financial condition ahead of the county election, which he won by a majority.

Photo: Radio Canada / Patrick Butler

Concerned school boards

Direct spending for public schools should not be reduced, according to the commission, but school boards that CSFP, You must get rid of it Spend less on administration and reinvest the money directly into schools.

It’s time to realize that the service delivery model that has been implemented over the past 45 years is no longer the best option, The report notes. Many public services must be provided more efficiently. […] The public service is so large that several people manage one file, which delays the process and prevents progression.

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Moya Green notes that the committee was not consulted CSFP Before publishing its recommendations.

We like school management to be thinner. We have seen that there are a lot of expenditures that, in our opinion, appear to be dedicated to administrative mattersShe explained. It is not a constitutional issue, it is a financial issue related to the way schools are run.

The CSFP It offers education in French to French speakers, a language right protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Memorial University in the crosshairs

The plan also proposes a 30% reduction in grants to Memorial University and College of the North Atlantic. Tuition fees for both institutions in Newfoundland and Labrador have been frozen since the early 2000s.

The committee also wants to merge the three nursing schools in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Memorial University Pavilion.

Like a recent report on the state of higher education in Newfoundland and Labrador, the Independent Commission proposes, among other things, to lift the tuition freeze.

Photo: CBC / Paul Daly

He recommends reducing the number of clinics run by the four health authorities in the governorate. Regional authorities currently run 180 clinics and hospitals.

The committee also wants to slightly cut subsidies for the Newfoundland and Labrador housing corporation and legal aid by 2%, and scrap the state-owned Nalcor Energy, which runs the mega-hydropower project. The Committee notes the financial problems of Nalcor Much wider From Muskrat falls and was present long before the outbreak of the epidemic. Other government agencies will have to cut their budgets by 20%.

The committee also wants to create a file Future Fund That would take 50% of the oil revenue abroad and use it to pay off debt, but also to invest in green technologies, such as infrastructure, to encourage the purchase of electric cars.

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It also recommended that the government carry out a campaign to reform healthcare transfers and the federal parity program; And to create a financial stability program.

Increase taxes

The committee also proposes to increase taxes by one percentage point for all residents. The sales tax is also expected to rise by a percentage point to 14%, he says.

The committee also recommended an increase in the gasoline tax by 1.5 cents per liter and the tobacco tax by 5.5 cents per cigarette.

The committee also recommended imposing several new taxes on the wealthy and on luxury goods.

Ms Greene, former president and CEO of Canada Post and chief executive of Bombardier, has an international reputation as an executive hired by companies to get their finances back. In 2013, she led the privatization of the UK Postal Service.

It is too late to make an impact on the next budget

Finance Minister Siobhan Cody said it was too late to incorporate the commission’s recommendations into the upcoming county budget. On Tuesday, Ms. Coady revealed that the 2021-2022 budget will be rolled out on May 31.

The minister promised to start public consultations on the report’s recommendations this month. Residents will be able to participate in virtual meetings, where they can send comments online, by phone, or by mail.