Downloading burden onto future generations: NDP Response to 2019 Throne Speech

NDP House Leader Lorraine Michael (MHA, St. John’s East–Quidi Vidi) delivered the NDP Caucus’s response to government’s Speech from the Throne today in the House of Assembly.

She says that government’s plans are only about getting re-elected, not about making people’s lives better. Meanwhile, they are presenting the Atlantic Accord as though it will be the answer to all our fiscal woes.

“Government is trying to make things look good for themselves as they head into an election, while downloading the financial burden on future generations,” Michael said. “They say they have a plan for financial sustainability, but they don’t.”

“What’s missing in this document, is a real economic plan. They say that everything will be better for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, overnight, because the Premier says so, because of the Atlantic Accord?” Michael questioned.

Michael says the only benefit of the Atlantic Accord is to the government. “The $2.5 billion fixed amount will show up right away on the books as a reduction in our net debt of $14.7 billion, which may be good for borrowing more money,” she said. “But the $150 million in cash every year for the first 11 years won’t help much with our annual deficits – this year projected at half a billion – which Muskrat Falls will no doubt add to when it comes on stream,” she said. “It’s a drop in the bucket.”

“This government had the gall to present their Throne Speech without a plan for rate mitigation,” Michael said.

Michael notes the Speech fails to mention minimum wage, pay equity legislation, universal affordable child care, affordable housing, or a commitment to a gender based analysis. She says there is no mention of the conundrum we are facing now – how to invest in new green energy, while ensuring a demand for Muskrat Falls energy.

“How do the people who are living in poverty, working minimum wage jobs, struggling to make ends meet to feed their families healthy food, how would they see this Speech today?” Michael asked in the House.

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For further information, contact Zaren Healey White, Director of Communications, NDP Caucus at 729-2137 (o), 693-9172 (c), or zarenhealeywhite@gov.nl.ca.

Associated Caucus Members: 

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