For Immediate Release
25 May, 2023
The NDP caucus in the provincial House of Assembly voted against the provincial budget yesterday. NDP Leader Jim Dinn (MHA, St. John’s Centre) says there are several reasons for the party’s refusal to support the budget; most pressing are the lack of long-term vision and the Liberals’ continued disconnect with the realities of life for most people in the province.
“As usual, we see a few bright shiny headline-grabbing announcements in Budget 2023-24, but also as usual, we see little sign that this government is prepared to do the hard work required to improve the province,” Dinn said today. “This budget gives me no confidence they will address problems in our health, education and social systems that are a result of chronic underfunding, which have been exacerbated by COVID-19 and inflation over the past few years.”
While government talking points on the budget have included minimal increases to income support and seniors’ programs, Dinn points out that these are more than offset by inflation. An individual receiving income support, for example, has 20% less purchasing power than in 2014. Not only does Budget 2023-24 not effectively address the social determinants of health, he added, it is likely to ensure worse outcomes for thousands of people.
Dinn expressed concern that the budget does not set aside funds to implement the comprehensive Human Resources plan for health care. “As long as government refuses to address retention of healthcare workers, ignoring the workplace conditions that bring them to quit, the province is at risk of a permanent healthcare crisis if we fail to retain newly recruited professionals,” said Dinn.
“We saw a splashy $10/day child care announcement and a CCPA report revealing that 80% of the province’s children live in a child care desert. There was a big announcement to fund the private sector to build ‘affordable housing,’ whatever that might eventually mean, but no commitment to refurbish NLHC’s existing housing stock to make it habitable, he said.
For further information, contact Eddy St. Coeur, Director of Communications, NDP Caucus at 729-2137 (o), or email@example.com