NDP Leader Earle McCurdy says the documents the Finance Minister tabled in the House of Assembly this week do nothing to explain the question she has been dodging since Wednesday. In Question Period that day, and speaking to reporters afterwards, Cathy Bennett claimed she had found $25 million in savings in the three months the Liberals have been in office, and that translated to $100 million over a year.
She originally said the savings included travel and foregone end-of-year purchases such as furniture that departments might want but not need, telling the House, “These savings, which include discretionary savings, have been realized through things like no reallocation of dropped balances or savings, the reduction of parliamentary assistant salaries, the reduction of political staff, restrictions placed on hiring, restrictions placed on consultants and the elimination of discretionary travel as per the directive our government issued back in December.”
“She was asked in the House to provide details on how she would save $100 Million this year, and she tabled two sheets of paper. One is an excerpt from the mid-year fiscal update her predecessor in the job delivered in November 2014, and the other is three numbers and some very vague notes,” McCurdy said today.
“There are no particulars on what her $97.5 Million in projected savings will be. Not a single foregone airplane ticket or desk lamp. That is what she was requested to table – specifics, not vague hints and wishes.”
McCurdy says if the Finance Minister’s tabled documents are anything to go by, the Liberals’ oft-promised openness and transparency will prove to be as flimsy as many of their other election promises.
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