Despite shrinking government revenue through stalled wages and selling off public services, the Nova Scotia government continues to privatize.
Halifax (24 Sept. 2015) — On September 23, Nova Scotia Finance Minister Randy Delorey announced that the province's books were in even worse shape than his government had originally anticipated. He suggested that this shortfall is a result of decreased personal income tax revenues that are “primarily due to slower growth in compensation of employees.”
Lower wages mean lower provincial tax revenue
“If the deficit has risen already because of shrinking salaries, how will the government’s proposed five years of low — or non-existent — wage increases for the entire public sector help the province’s situation?” asked Joan Jessome, President of the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU/NUPGE).
“This clearly shows you cannot grow an economy by merely cutting. And you certainly cannot do it by selling off our public services.”
Government spending $1 million on study about toll highways
On the heels of the deficit announcement, the government also announced they are now paying a private company almost $1 million to study whether Nova Scotia should impose tolls on its public highways.
“Why are Nova Scotians now paying this company a million dollars to come up with a game plan to execute a decision the Liberals have clearly already made?” says Jessome.
“If tolling the highways isn’t already a foregone conclusion, the government should skip the expensive consultation and take this decision to a plebiscite, and let Nova Scotians decide," she said.
Nova Scotia issues RFPs to privatize government registries, giving away more provincial revenue
Today, the government issued their Request for Proposal for privatizing the Nova Scotia Land Registry, Registry of Joint Stock companies, and Registry of Motor Vehicles.
“It doesn’t make any sense to sell off these registries for a lump sum. Haven’t we been down this road before with Nova Scotia Power?” asks Jessome.
“We clearly need the revenue these registries generate to continue to fund the public services Nova Scotians depend on every day, as this government continues to attack citizens who have jobs while doing very little to create new full-time jobs.”
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE