Fiscal Responsibility

From the BC NDP Newswire:

VANCOUVER – New Democrat Opposition Leader Joy MacPhail and Vancouver Mount-Pleasant MLA Jenny Kwan today called upon Premier Gordon Campbell to convene a summit meeting of British Columbia’s business, labour, academic, aboriginal and community leaders to advise government on how best to handle the province’s looming fiscal crisis.

MacPhail said the request comes in light of this month’s Toronto Dominion Bank forecast that shows the province’s fiscal situation has been severely jeopardized by reckless high-income and corporate tax cuts.

“The td Bank’s report concluded that British Columbians can expect at least five consecutive years of record deficits under the BC Liberals and a near doubling of debt,” said MacPhail. “Mr. Campbell’s only answer to this problem of his own making is to order up massive cuts to government to pay for his reckless tax cuts. This report shows for the first time just how very deep those cuts will have to be if they are to have any effect at all.”

The td Economics report forecast record-high budget deficits, averaging nearly $3 billion in each of the next five years, with the accumulated deficit under the BC Liberals totaling more than $14.1 billion. Under Mr. Campbell, the report says, BC’s total taxpayer supported debt will nearly double, rising from less than $25 billion to more than $46 billion in just five years.

“Clearly the fiscal situation in the province is very serious. But this is not the time to cast blame, make excuses or point fingers,” said MacPhail. “Now is the time to bring British Columbians together from all walks of life to seek pragmatic solutions to our fiscal problems.

“We have written the premier urging him convene a fiscal summit to do just that. To consult, to seek compromise and to find solutions that have widespread buy-in and acceptance, ” said Kwan. “We must pull back from reckless extremes in this province if we are going to ensure long-term fiscal and economic stability.”

MacPhail and Kwan’s letter also pointed to the recommendations of the Premier’s Fiscal Review Panel. The panel said that, “…cuts in key services should not be the solution” and that “…significant public debate” is necessary before embarking on wholesale change.

Included is this handy-dandy chart showing our economy in shambles in bright, friendly color.