Today in the House of Assembly, the NDP Caucus asked questions about government’s Fall Fiscal and Economic Update. The Finance Minister said today that his plan is to target agencies, boards, and commissions, including health authorities and school boards, to find savings.
“I ask the Minister, will he come clean and tell the people of the province that his plan forces more cuts to jobs and services that people need?” asked NDP Leader Lorraine Michael.
Michael said, meanwhile, we have given Nalcor billions of dollars without proper oversight. She noted we might have spent less if there had been more scrutiny on the amounts paid to embedded contractors.
“When is government going to intervene with Nalcor to see that these exorbitant contractor costs are reined in?” said Michael.
Gerry Rogers (MHA, St. John’s Centre) said the Finance Minister’s “balanced” approach to fiscal management has resulted in government balancing on the backs of the most vulnerable with cuts to services such as dental care, home care, and over-the-counter drug coverage.
“I ask the Premier, does his government have a long-term fiscal management plan that does not include hurting the most vulnerable people in our society?” asked Rogers.
She continued to ask the Health Minister if he will eliminate the unfair practice of tying the 65+ drug card eligibility to a federal program, and instead base it on income like all other drug programs.