Liberal leader Stephen McNeil says the Dexter government’s announcement of a $447 million surplus is pure fiction and is calling on the NDP to cut the HST in Tuesday’s budget.
"It’s clear that the NDP crafted a fiscal mirage that helped them needlessly reach into the pockets of Nova Scotians," said McNeil. "If they did not intentionally mislead Nova Scotians, they are financially inept."
McNeil pointed out that the original forecasted deficit was $222 million. That number was then revised twice before today’s announcement. The closest the NDP ever came to the real number was still off by at least $350 million.
"How can we trust anything Premier Dexter or Minister Steele bring forward tomorrow when they’ve misled Nova Scotians by inflating deficits, exaggerating spending numbers and intentionally underestimating revenues?" asked McNeil.
McNeil said this proves the NDP’s HST and user fee hikes were not required. The HST increase was estimated to bring in $246 million - just half of the reported surplus.
"Even without the unnecessary tax grab, the NDP would still have a $200 million surplus," said McNeil. "They need to apologize for misleading Nova Scotians and they need to reverse the HST increase immediately."
"Their numbers were off - way off," said McNeil. "The NDP wanted Nova Scotians to believe they were fighting a $1.4 billion dollar boogeyman in order to hike taxes."Nova Scotia Liberal Caucus