NDP finance critic questions revenue projections and sale of assets
CBC News, Apr 4, 2013.
The B.C. NDP says the B.C. Liberal government is deliberately hiding a deficit close to $800 million this fiscal year.
The budget also included speculative revenues from natural gas royalties and asset sales.
But at a news conference on Thursday, NDP finance critic Bruce Ralston said he estimates the actual deficit to be $790 million for the 2013/14 fiscal year and $847 million for 2014/15.
"It's the real Liberal deficit, it's their refusal to be honest and open about expenditure growth and asset sales in this budget," he said. "Neither number is a real number."
Ralston also said he rejects the Liberal's projections for expenditure growth and the prospects of asset sales, but didn't say what his party's budget would look like if they formed a government.
"The Liberal budget projects only 0.8 per cent growth in expenditures for the coming year," said Ralston, in a statement released on Thursday.
"But average growth over the Liberals’ term in office has been 3.2 per cent. Either the Liberals have understated expenditures dramatically, or they are planning a massive wave of secret post-election cuts to critical services for British Columbians."
Ralston also questioned why the Liberals booked $475 million this year and a further $150 million next year for the sale of public assets, even though not a single sale has been confirmed.
"They’re counting on the sale of more assets in one year than the government has sold in the last ten years combined, and they’re booking the money before the sales have been made," said Ralston.
"It's not realistic, and it’s not prudent fiscal planning."
The NDP is expected to release their budget platform on April 17.