Government must stop trying to balance the budget on the backs of workers

By Joan Wark
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The president of the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour Danny Cavanagh says the Nova Scotia government fiscal update should be more about what the government’s plan is to make life better for people in the province instead of telling Nova Scotians that a balanced budget is contingent on freezing retirement awards for public sector workers, a move that’s yet to be imposed by the government or accepted by the province’s unions.Cavanagh says the NS Government must make better financial decisions – It’s been a year since it handed out big bucks to banks. How many jobs have they created? How much did they draw down? The province has lost more full-time jobs in the last year. If we want a good fiscal update, we need jobs.

“For Premier McNeil to be committed to its fiscal plan of maintaining a balanced budget and inferring that it is unfair to pass labour costs connected to services on to taxpayers must be addressed. No one can provide services without a cost for labour. What about the cost of $1 billion for P3 schools mistake?  It’s time to stop attacking workers and show the people of this province a jobs plan,” Cavanagh says.

Forecasted tax revenues are down $45.5 million due to reductions in the amount of personal income tax, motive fuel tax and HST collected. Those are all taxes collected from people with jobs for the most part. He doesn’t mention a jobs plan, where is the Liberal jobs plan. How much did he lower power bills? Where are the doctors? These were promises.

“Why does the McNeil Government want to impose costly legislation on workers which will only result in costly court challenges? They just need to bargain fairly. They also need to move onto a jobs plan, stop taking about costly privatization and stop blaming workers and their unions for the fiscal imbalance.

Let’s get on to working together to improve the province and stop blaming unions for bad decisions,” Cavanagh says.

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