John Risley says N.L.’s budget cuts will be painful—but unavoidable

Posted on March 26, 2021 | By John Risley | 0 Comments


As I write this, the outcome of the Newfoundland and Labrador provincial election is not known. Regardless of whether Dr. Furey is re-elected or Ches Crosbie proves the polls wrong and ascends the throne of premier, neither will have an agenda which can be anything other than painful to implement. I have said before in this column that the Province is in dire financial straits. Covid hasn’t helped (massive understatement). It’s nice that the federal government has deferred the first payment due on Muskrat—but that’s just a deferral of an obligation, not relief from it.

The government’s revenue line is in trouble thanks to declining oil-based royalties; that is not going to self-correct nor can it be remedied through higher taxes.

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