Thousands are speaking: Is Finance Minister listening?
St. John’s Centre MHA Gerry Rogers says government may have heard from hundreds of people in preparing the disastrous Budget 2016 but she doubts how much they were listening. With thousands now protesting the budget, she says, government must be willing to listen and make changes.
“The Finance minister is boasting she listened to hundreds of people before bringing down her disastrous budget. She’s now saying she’s listening to the thousands and thousands who are protesting here and across the province,” Rogers said in the House of Assembly today.
“I ask the Finance Minister, will she prove she is listening, and change her unfair and regressive budget?”
As a Saturday protest in St. John’s drew thousands, Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador issued a release condemning the budget, particularly leaving the future of libraries to already struggling towns.
“Municipalities are outraged at government downloading more on their already cash-strapped towns. They’ve written government and said they don’t have the resources to run libraries on their own,” said Rogers.
“Did the Education Minister even consult with municipalities before he so off-handedly said they could run these libraries that he is closing?”
The NDP MHA says the three layers of government have only one main source of revenue – the taxpayers of the province.
“I ask the Premier, has he analyzed the impact of his levy on cash strapped municipalities trying to collect property tax from citizens who cannot afford both?” she asked.