March 30, 2017
For Immediate Release

Equalization is Paying for Other Provinces’ Surpluses and Tax Cuts
While the Ball Liberals Refuse to Fight for Fairness for NL

Keith Hutchings, Finance Critic for the Official Opposition, said, “The national Equalization program will pay for surpluses, tax cuts and spending increases in other provinces while Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are buried under exorbitant taxes and service cuts because the Ball Liberals refuse to fight their Liberal friends for fairness.”

Quebec’s 2017 Budget (delivered on March 28) is their third balanced budget in a row and includes $7 billion in tax cuts plus new money for education, health care and transportation. Quebec will receive $11.081 billion in Equalization in 2017-18 to help pay for all that.

New Brunswick’s 2017 Budget shrinks their deficit and makes record investments in health care and education. New Brunswick will receive $1.76 billion in Equalization in 2017-18 to help pay for that.

Nova Scotia’s 2017 Budget will be brought down on April 27, but their Finance Minister has already reported that it will be balanced and include tax relief, and they will also report a surplus for 2016-17. Nova Scotia is receiving $1.779 billion in Equalization in 2017-18 to help pay for that.

Ontario’s 2017 Budget will be brought down in April, but their Finance Minister has already reported that it will be balanced. Ontario will receive $1.424 billion in 2017-18 to help pay for that.

Newfoundland and Labrador’s total share of Equalization in 2017-18 is zero.

LINK: www.fin.gc.ca/fedprov/mtp-eng.asp

Hutchings said, “The Constitution of Canada makes clear that provinces have the right to deliver comparable levels of public service at comparable rates of taxation. But Newfoundland and Labrador – whose revenues fell sharply and remain down because of global oil prices – has raised taxes and cut services to cope. That is not fair treatment under the Constitution.”

“Whenever we have demanded that Premier Ball fight the federal government for fairness, he has refused. Today he says he will entertain discussions with the federal government down the road. He would rather crush our people and economy than take on his Liberal friends in Ottawa. That is appalling,” he said.

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Media Contact: Heather MacLean, Director of Operations and Communications, Office of the Official Opposition
(709) 729 6105, heathermaclean@gov.nl.ca