18 January 2010

Budget consultation farce: more evidence

Normally, budget decisions wouldn’t be announced until after the provincial government budget for the upcoming fiscal year is formally presented in the legislature.

Since 2007 – at least - that convention had gone out the window in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The fact that cabinet ministers announce spending priorities for the coming year starting in January also proves that the entire series of meetings the finance minister calls budget consultations are pretty much a joke and a half.

They are a complete farce, a cruel joke on the ordinary unsuspecting members of the public because – as the finance minister well knows – the decisions on spending are pretty much already made.

If the spending decisions weren’t made already, a cabinet minister could not announce on January 18 – some three months ahead of the budget being tabled in the House of Assembly - that a program would be funded for three more fiscal years.