26 February 2008

Where will the money go? The Hebron - Hydro connection

Yes, you've read it at Bond Papers before:  Hebron money will head to Labrador to underwrite the Lower Churchill development.

And yes, Danny Williams has been trying to lower expectations for the Lower Churchill.

And finance minister Tom Marshall has suddenly discovered the provincial debt as a problem that must be addressed.

But if you want to know where the finance minister - and possibly his cabinet colleagues - are thinking of spending money from oil and gas, look no further than a report from the Gander Beacon on budget consultations held in the central Newfoundland town.

The story is titled "Where will the money go?"

"So, we have to use the resources we have now to change our economy," Minster Marshall said. "The oil and gas money we should use towards hydro, to provide an economy when the oil and gas is gone, because it will all be gone one day. Hopefully, it will be a long time, but it will be gone." [Emphasis added]

See?  The debt clock is not about putting the budget focus on the massive public debt, well, at least no so the provincial government can pay it down.


The debt clock is to discourage demands from the public to spend oil and gas money on things they might want to see it spent on.

That way, the provincial government can non-renewable resource revenues, all $2.0 billion of it this year alone, on things cabinet has already decided on.

Like using the cash from Hebron to pay for the Lower Churchill, even though there are no customers for the power, yet.

Bond Papers has been saying it for a while.

Just like Bond Papers pointed at the provincial debt and the lack of action from the current administration.

And once again, Tom Marshall has confirmed it.