Nine months after the NDP won the Nova Scotia election by promising to balance the books without raising taxes or cutting spending, the party is poised to break those key pledges when it delivers its second budget Tuesday.Almost mirroring the Harper government's present day rhetoric, promising the people no tax hikes, no spending cuts and all will magically work out. Then backtracking once in government. Hmmm. This is the kind of thing that could give politics a bad name.
Premier Darrell Dexter has confirmed the province will carry a deficit for at least the next three years while imposing targeted, long-term spending cuts as Finance Minister Graham Steele struggles to cope with a soft economy, shrinking revenue from the offshore energy sector and a $490-million deficit for this fiscal year.
But the big question is: will the region's first NDP government accept an advisory panel's provocative recommendation to boost the 13 per cent harmonized sales tax by two percentage points?
Steele won't say, but many Nova Scotians are betting on it.
Sunday, April 04, 2010
"Budget looms: Nova Scotia girds for increase to harmonized sales tax."