MacLauchlan government has budgeting and spending problems: Compton

Belfast – Belfast-Murray River MLA and Opposition Finance Critic Darlene Compton says that a new round of special warrants for more than $14 million shows that the MacLauchlan government has both a budgeting problem and a spending problem.

“I don’t know many Islanders that could go to a bank fifteen times in eighteen months looking for more money after going over budget like this Premier has done. I know even fewer Islanders who would call that being fiscally prudent,” said Compton.

Special warrants are Cabinet approvals of spending outside the budget approved by the Legislature. Since March 2015 the MacLauchlan Cabinet has approved fifteen special warrants totaling nearly $58 million.

Compton observed that the types of overspending covered off in the latest batch of special warrants are for routine expenses like administration and professional services as well as materials and supplies. The departments involved were Health and Wellness, Justice and Public Safety, and Education and Early Childhood Development.

“A budget was passed in May and now barely three months later has already gone more than $14 million over. These weren’t unexpected costs like a surprise snow storm in July. They were routine expenses in multiple departments, including the Premier’s. To be this far off this soon tells me that the MacLauchlan government has a budgeting problem to go along with its spending problem,” said Compton. 

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