“All options are going to have to be considered I guess, from both the revenue and the expenditure side, to make the best of a challenging situation,” NDP leader Earle McCurdy told CBC on Wednesday.
“All options” includes more job cuts, spending reductions, and public sector layoffs in addition to higher taxes.
That endorsement of “austerity” as a serious option is a radical change of direction for the provincial Dippers,. Up to now, they’ve been adamantly opposed to any cuts to public spending no matter how bad things got.
Here are some of Lana Payne’s comments via Twitter, for example:
“don't be fooled, austerity fuels inequality and inequality does not build a better Canada.” (April 20, 2015)
“So austerity has been discredited everywhere yet
#NSbdgt embraces it with a vengeance. Austerity doesn't led to jobs or prosperity.” (April 9, 2015)
In 2013, Payne savaged the idea of any cuts to government spending when Premier Kathy Dunderdale first floated the idea. She attacked the Conservatives for tax cuts:
Of those 400,000 or so people in our province who file taxes, 25 per cent of them or 100,000 had taxable incomes of under $10,000 a year, 60 per cent or about 240,000 people had taxable incomes of under $30,000.
Low incomes mean, and should mean, you pay lower personal income taxes.
Payne slammed the provincial Conservatives for giving a massive tax break to the provinces wealthy citizens. Of course, regular readers will know that Payne remains a staunch supporter of the Muskrat Falls tax. In that scheme, all those low income earners in Newfoundland and Labrador will pay the full cost of Muskrat so that private sector companies in Nova Scotia can get free juice.
But let’s not get side-tracked with Payne’s obvious hypocrisy. That’s not news. She’s been a fake progressive for years.
Let’s just notice that Payne – one of McCurdy’s staunchest supporters in his leadership bid are now polar opposites on financial policy.
McCurdy isn’t just out of step with Lana. Here’s what federation of labour boss Mary Shortall wrote at theindependent.ca about the provincial budget:
1) Austerity budgets do not work; 2) spending is not the problem; 3) tax cuts are not the answer.
Let’s go out on a limb and make two predictions:
First: the NDP will spend Thursday fending off the political fallout from McCurdy’s comments and the fact there is obviously a huge divide between Earle and the public sector unions bosses.
Second, the NDP will try to shift the focus to their plan to raise taxes on corporations as they also try on the nosepuller of a claim that that “all options” doesn’t actually mean, you know, all options.
But it does.
Let’s see how the provincial NDP handle their first policy crisis of the 2015 election campaign.