Charlottetown, PE - With a soaring narrative filled with exaggerated words of hope and self-praise, the King government released its budget for the upcoming year. Projecting a deficit of at least $112 M, the Minister of Finance rose and gave a story of boutique promises that amounted to crisis management by a thousand bandages.
“To listen to the King government speak today, you would think things are shiny and bright. You would be led to believe it always holds the needs and concerns of Islanders at the centre of every decision and commitment they make,” said Peter Bevan-Baker, Leader of the Official Opposition. “Unfortunately, there is no evidence for these claims.”
In our budget submission on January 6, 2021 the Official Opposition gave government a list of twenty specific requests representing what Islanders have been asking for. In the budget, the government spoke to only twelve of these asks. Sadly, many of the commitments they made in the budget are partial, vague, and lacking any actionable plan.
“We asked this government to put it’s money where its mouth is, in supporting low-income Islanders, essential workers, and frontline healthcare workers. And I guess since there’s no money in this budget in this regard, we can safely say government is not too concerned about recognizing them,” said Michele Beaton, Official Opposition Finance Critic. “Government is choosing to ignore and devalue the needs of seniors by not providing them critical income tax relief and failing to keep its promise for dental care. Government is also choosing to defer student debt instead of really helping them by removing that burden.”
The complete Official Opposition budget submission can be seen here: Official Opposition 2021 Operational Budget submission - January 6, 2021
“This government has proven over the past two years that it can tell a good story. It has also shown it cannot keep the promises it makes. Islanders do not need another smoke and mirrors act from the storyteller Premier and his government,” concluded Bevan-Baker. “COVID laid bare the real issues impacting Islanders, and this budget was an opportunity to address them with real solutions. Once again, government chose story over substance.”