Saskatchewan Party Unveils $849 Million Promises on Top of $7.5 Billion Spending Plan

As the provincial election approaches, Saskatchewan Party Leader Scott Moe has revealed additional promises totaling $849 million dollars. These pledges come on top of the $7.5 billion already committed to constructing hospitals, schools, and highways...

As the provincial election approaches, Saskatchewan Party Leader Scott Moe has revealed additional promises totaling $849 million dollars. These pledges come on top of the $7.5 billion already committed to constructing hospitals, schools, and highways over the next two years. The leader remains confident that his party will be able to balance the budget within the next four years, but he refrained from addressing what actions would be taken if revenue doesn't align with projections.

The current estimated provincial deficit sits at $2.1 billion, and Moe unveiled his platform at Remai Modern in Saskatoon, overlooking the same riverside spot where NDP Leader Ryan Meili presented his party's platform. When questioned about the uncertainty brought about by the global pandemic, Moe expressed his belief in the financial projections, yet declined to discuss potential tax hikes or service cuts.

The Saskatchewan Party points to the province's success in reopening the economy after the initial COVID-19 lockdown and credits the ability to work and interact safely as factors that will contribute to the overall economic recovery. Donna Harpauer, the former finance minister, stated that the majority of revenue over the next four years is expected to come from federal government transfers, taxation, and resource revenue. Industry sources indicate that the province seeks to maintain a 10 to 12 percent reliance on non-renewable resources.

Moe emphasized the party's commitment to affordability for families, highlighting initiatives such as the two-year home renovation tax credit, a one-year 10 percent SaskPower rebate, and a three-year tax reduction for small businesses. He clarified that these measures are time-based and will gradually phase out. Denying any attempt to buy votes, Moe described these promises as "making investments."

The Saskatchewan Party's platform also includes pledges to create 750 licensed home-based child-care spaces, provide funding for children with autism up to the age of 12, cover glucose monitoring costs for individuals up to 18 years old, reduce seniors' ambulance costs by 50 percent, and increase the post-secondary Sask. Advantage scholarship to $750 per year.

Additionally, the party intends to reinstate the community rink grant, which was previously cut in 2016 due to financial constraints. The Active Families Benefit, another program eliminated in 2016, is also set to be revived. The total cost of these new expenditures amounts to $93 million in the current fiscal year, $345.3 million in 2021-22, $205.3 million in 2022-23, $123.6 million in 2023-24, and $81.6 million in 2024-25.

The Saskatchewan Party's ambitious infrastructure plans encompass a commitment to spend $30 billion over the next ten years. With a focus on economic recovery and affordability, Moe and his party are vying to secure the confidence of voters in the upcoming election.

1