MacLauchlan needs to clarify budget cut comments: Compton

CHARLOTTETOWN - The Official Opposition is calling on Premier MacLauchlan to clarify public comments made on cuts to this year’s budget in advance of pre-budget consultations beginning.

Pre-budget consultations for the 2016/17 budget are scheduled to begin this week although Premier MacLauchlan indicated in year end interviews with off-Island media that government plans to reduce spending by four to five per cent.

“It seems the Premier has already decided the outcome of the pre-budget consultations with his comments about a four to five percent cut in program spending,” said Belfast-Murray River MLA and Opposition Finance critic Darlene Compton. “If the Premier intends to cut tens of millions of dollars from health care and education Islanders deserve to know that before beginning pre-budget consultations.”

Compton contrasted the province’s approach with the one used by the New Brunswick government which has launched a robust public engagement process, clearly laying out a variety of spending and tax proposals in advance of seeking public feedback. Over 1200 New Brunswickers and 100 stakeholder groups participated in nearly twenty sessions on those specific spending and tax proposals along with written and online submissions.

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