Public sector job cuts: a broken election promise

NDP House Leader Lorraine Michael

As hundreds of workers gather in St. John’s for the Federation of Labour’s annual convention, NDP House Leader Lorraine Michael (MHA, St. John’s East-Quidi Vidi) asked questions in the House of Assembly about election promises made about cutting public sector jobs, and the post-election reality.

“Five days before the election the Premier tweeted ‘Cutting jobs is not part of our plan. Under a new Liberal government, public sector jobs are safe.’
We now know public sector jobs were not safe,” Michael said in Question Period.

“I ask the Premier, can he tell this House how many public sector jobs have been lost in 2016?”

Michael says that eliminating public service jobs in an economic downturn only makes things worse. Even threatening to do so has had an enormous impact on people’s spending decisions since the provincial budget, she adds. Economists have shown public sector spending can create up to 20 times more jobs per dollar invested than the oil and gas sector, and is a critical part of our province’s economic stability and growth.

“A recent report by a right wing policy institute suggests firing thousands of public servants could help government balance its budget,” she said.

“I ask the Premier, will he assure nervous public service workers that this will not be government’s solution to our current economic crisis?”

Michael wants to know if government has done any analysis to project the impact on the economy of removing thousands of good-paying jobs.

Associated Caucus Members: 

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