25 April 2012

More significant budget digits #nlpoli

3%:  The amount by which Premier Kathy Dunderdale said she and her colleagues would be cutting spending in the current budget.

As the Telegram editorial pointed out on Wednesday:

Instead of the three per cent in program cuts suggested at one point by Premier Kathy Dunderdale, the province will actually increase its program expenses by $113 million and its debt-servicing expenses by $40.5 million.

That $153.5 million increase in costs means the province’s spending — despite an expected $1.1 billion in reduced oil royalty and Atlantic Accord revenue income — will actually increase by 2.1 per cent, slightly under the expected inflation rate of 2.2 per cent. This, despite non-core program cuts that saved $38.8 million in additional spending.

Yes, friends, the three percent cut morphed into a 2.1% increase.

45:  The number of temporary positions supposedly cut in Tuesday’s budget.

As the Telegram noted, though:

The 45 temporary jobs that were cut actually weren’t enough to offset 142 new positions created in other areas — including 47 temporary positions.

- srbp -