Budget 2020 does not inspire: Coffin



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Budget 2020 does not inspire: Coffin

30 September, 2020

The provincial government released its budget today, half-way through the fiscal year, and NDP Leader Alison Coffin says there is little sign of either hope or inspiration.

“The Finance Minister promised no surprises, and she kept that promise,” Coffin said today after reviewing the budget documents.

“My Caucus and I were pleased to see some items that the NDP has requested – some of it going back for years, some in consultations with the Finance Minister this year,” said Coffin. “We are, however, not impressed at some of the oversights. There's no mention of eliminating the CERB clawback, we would have liked to see a provision for COVID related sick leaves and more tangible action for schools.”

The $25 a day childcare, MUN tuition freeze, and increased spending on diabetes pumps are all long standing, key NDP demands. Coffin is pleased the Minister of Finance took the Caucus’ suggestions to support for craft brewers and initiate a feasibility study for replacing the Lewisporte wharf.

Coffin added, “It is embarrassing how little is there for women. Yes, we need anti-violence measures, but there is more to achieving equity. What about legislating gender equity on agencies, boards and commissions, for example? That would cost nothing and make a huge difference.”

Coffin is also disappointed that the Home Energy Savings program has not been renewed, which is a blow for homeowners hoping to retrofit their homes to make them more energy-efficient ahead of electricity rates doubling. There is also little on internet access.

“Broadband is vital to businesses and families in our rural areas. We have money here for Chromebooks for the schools, but nothing to ensure that people will have internet access to use them,” she said.

“Budget 2020 is a bunch of task forces and consultations, most of them on matters that have seen numerous consultations and studies already. A task force is a delay tactic, an excuse for government to do a whole lot of nothing.”

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For further information, contact Eddy St. Coeur, Director of Communications, NDP Caucus at 729-2137 (o), 693-9172 (c), or eddystcoeur@gov.nl.ca

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