This year’s provincial budget is a whole lot of nothing.

At this time last year, the government was projecting a $ 208 million surplus for 2024-25.

Provincial Finance Minster Donna Harpaeur has gotten her projections wrong before; in all likelihood, she has again. This year, she said the government is projecting a return to balance by 2025-26, with a projected $18-million surplus for the next fiscal year. What this budget boils down to is $31.8 billion this year or a provincial debt of $14,090 for every person in the province. No premier in Saskatchewan’s history has ever increased provincial debt at the rate Premier Scott Moe has.

While our debt has ballooned, the primary responsibilities of any provincial government, education and health, are woefully underfunded in crisis situations. The SaskParty slogan is ‘Growth that works for Everyone’; in reality, the SaskParty is creating jobs at the second-last rate in Canada. Where is the money going and why is it so hard for us to find the information now? Since 1995, Saskatchewan had a Balanced Budget Law. The SaskParty Government of Brad Wall repealed that Act in 2016 – after massive overspending on the Regina Bypass and GTH.

We have also spent over $10 billion in corporate subsidies in this province, in a typical Conservative “trickle-down” theory method of stimulating the economy. We've lost nearly $20 Billion because we have an inefficient potash royalty system that hurts provincial finances and discourages investment and competition. No wonder our taxes keep going up and we as citizens keep receiving less.

This year's budget is a whole lot of nothing and does little to help those needing the most. There was an absolutely insulting raise to SAID monthly payments announced; it does almost nothing to address the actual increase in the cost of living and rent in this province. Plus with the Saskparty federal carbon tax rebate cutoff (because of their political posturing), nothing plus nothing is nothing.

Saskatchewan people could have used immediate relief with a reduction to the PST. That was a solution that would have helped all of us immensely. We didn’t see it. This was the year they should have given us that financial relief.

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