Friday, April 06, 2007

What's 4.5 billion between friends?

That's essentially what Harper's saying to Williams: "Tory ad says Newfoundland `blessed'."

Now that the numbers are being crunched, Harper's blessed equalization formula results in a loss that's being spun as fair:
But if Williams follows an optimal strategy – where the province would leave the accord in 2009 and opt into a formula where a fiscal cap is implemented, and 50 per cent of non-renewable natural resource revenues are included – it would receive $24.1 billion over that same period, Locke found.

Newfoundland Finance Minister Tom Marshall acknowledged the province would benefit under that option, but said that falls far short of the $28.6 billion the treasury would receive if Harper kept his promise to remove non-renewable resource revenues and not implement a fiscal cap in a new equalization formula.
So Harper's broken promise means something, 4.5 billion somethings, in fact. Sounds like a huge difference to me and an issue well-worth Williams' ire.