The Liberal Party today released its platform on fiscal prudence. The platform is based upon five key principles: growing our economy, respecting taxpayers, federal cooperation, input from all Islanders and public service professionalism.
Premier MacLauchlan stated: “The Liberal Party is focused on responsible, achievable commitments that benefit Islanders through improved healthcare, education and economic growth and job creation.”
“Prince Edward Islanders are understandably concerned about the need to live within our means.”
To date, the Liberal Party’s platform represents an investment of less than $30 million, while the Conservative platform would cost taxpayers more than $130 million and counting. The removal of HST on electricity is the latest example in a series of expensive campaign promises made by the PC Party.
“Islanders expect and deserve a government that is fiscally responsible and that makes achievable commitments that won’t result in tax increases or cuts to services or employment.” said MacLauchlan “As our province’s fiscal position improves, a Liberal Government will work toward removing the HST from electricity.”
During a period of global economic decline, the federal government as well as provinces across the country have been challenged to reduce annual operating deficits and manage overall net debt. The Province of PEI has, in a very controlled manner, decreased the annual operating deficit in recent years through careful control of expenditures and balanced support to grow our economy. There is more work to be done and a long term view towards financial management is essential.
A New Liberal Government under the leadership of Wade MacLauchlan will take a clear and focused approach to sound financial management. Specifically, our plan will be built upon the following five principles:
Principle #1: Growing Our Economy
A Liberal Government will grow our economy: increasing exports, strengthening our existing businesses, launching a record number of new business start-ups, working together to strengthen communities and continuing investments in our emerging sectors. We are committed to growing the PEI economy and enhancing the sustainability of provincial revenues.
Principle #2: Respecting Taxpayers
Control of expenditures and ensuring a value-for-money approach will be at the forefront of our fiscal management strategy. In this regard, continued examination of expenditures in every department and agency will be a priority and by necessity we must be open to new ways of doing things in all areas of Government. We must strive to increase the efficiency of everything Government does. Our fiscal and human resources must be prioritized toward front-line services.
Principle #3: Federal Cooperation
Federal revenues make up approximately 40% of total Provincial Government revenues. As such, we must dedicate time and resources to achieving the best results possible in Federal/Provincial relationships and negotiations. We will proactively and in a positive manner work to negotiate a new fiscal arrangement with the Government of Canada. In particular we will bring forward our concerns relative to the current equalization formula and changes to the other national programs, as well as decreased federal spending and program expense downloaded to our Province. In addition, to grow our economy in a highly strategic manner we will require federal support; to this end we will take a lead role in presenting a convincing and comprehensive long term economic development plan.
Principle #4: Input From All Islanders
A New Liberal Government under the leadership of Wade MacLauchlan will continue to seek input and advice from individual Islanders, our private sector, and non-profit groups across PEI as we prepare our annual budgets. We must also work closely with municipalities and communities across PEI as we partner to deliver the best services and infrastructure to our residents in a cost-efficient manner.
Principle #5: Public Service Professionalism
A New Liberal Government will work collaboratively with a professional public service to deliver the best and most efficient results for Islanders. The provincial finances are moving toward balance due to initiatives within the public service to demonstrate budgetary restraint to help improve the fiscal outlook for our province.
Media Contact: Grant Palmer • 902.393.7975 • firstname.lastname@example.org