Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

NDP government just keeps digging

  • Print

The Selinger government insists it is spending prudently, that the deficits that it now concedes will continue beyond 2014 are necessary to preserve the basic services Manitobans would not want to see cut, and some deserve more money. Interesting, then, that spending on health care and education will fall by more than $45 million total.

The numbers, included in the government's second-quarter report for 2012, ending Sept. 30, show government is now forecasting it will blow past its budgeted departmental expenditures by $153.6 million by the end of the fiscal year. The Finance Department expects that to be offset by an additional $63.7 million in revenues, primarily through greater corporate and personal income taxes.

It adds up to a core deficit that will be $98 million more than budgeted. That deficit is reduced by dipping into the rainy-day savings fund, to bring it to $546 million at the end of the year.

These details explain why, earlier this month, Premier Greg Selinger changed his tune from blaming the flood last year for the deficit to the lagging and uncertain "economic conditions." And while the forecasts for economic growth have slowed for the province, the revenues indicate that Manitoba continues to weather the global troubles very well.

What has driven the deficit up this year is overspending. The government says this year it expects to spend more on child protection services -- the expense and the number of children coming into care are rising -- but also on public safety and disability services. The explanation is that more people charged and jailed are fuelling expenses, as are the number of disabled adults living in the community. But it is hard to see how neither of those factors was not anticipated and budgeted for, why mid-year spending has to be suddenly ramped up by a significant $66 million.

Once again, had the NDP government stuck to its plan, the budgeted deficit could have come in lower, even with the extra $24 million it plans to add to child protection services. No doubt there will be a string of press conferences to announce cheques are being written because the province is doing its job to "focus on things that matter most to Manitobans," as the preface to the second-quarter report described it.

But it's doubtful the government could call it an emergency-injection of funds. This is the running narrative of the NDP's spending habit, and why a province that has barely noticed a global recession is deeply, unnecessarily mired in debt.

Editorials are the consensus view of the Winnipeg Free Press’ editorial board, comprising Catherine Mitchell, David O’Brien and Paul Samyn.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 21, 2012 A12

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Glenn January won't blame offensive line for first loss

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A black swallowtail butterfly land on Lantana flowers Sunday morning at the Assiniboine Park English Gardens- standup photo – August 14, 2011   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • STDUP ‚Äì Beautiful West End  begins it's summer of bloom with boulevard s, front yards  and even back lane gardens ,  coming alive with flowers , daisies and poppies  dress up a backyard lane on Camden St near Wolseley Ave  KEN GIGLIOTTI  / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS  /  June 26 2012

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What's your take on a report that shows violent crime is decreasing in Winnipeg?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google