Liberals cannot be trusted on province’s finances, say New Democrats

VICTORIA – Wednesday’s release of the quarterly economic update shows the Liberals continue to mismanage the province’s finances and can’t be trusted when it comes to British Columbia’s economy, say the New Democrats.

“On the one hand, you have a finance minister saying that times are tough and we have to tighten our belts, and on the other hand you have a premier saying it’s completely fine to spend untold millions of dollars on a pre-election ad campaign to boost the Liberal party brand,” says New Democrat MLA Carole James.

“They’re spending a million and a half dollars on party planning for Family Day; meanwhile, they plan to make reckless cuts to necessary programs and services and sell off valuable public assets to try to give the illusion that they are fiscally responsible,” said James. “The Liberals continue to show that their priorities are completely out of touch with the needs of British Columbians.”

James said the Liberal pre-election promise to balance the budget is bound to fall flat with British Columbians, who have heard similar claims before.

“Leading up to the 2009 election, the Liberals promised the budget deficit would be $495 million and not a penny more,” said James. “The real number a few months later was nearly six times that amount. They also promised they wouldn’t institute an HST, but one of the first announcements they made after the election was that they would bring in the HST.”

James pointed out the only thing the Liberal government has accomplished since the 2009 election is the HST, which British Columbians continue to pay to this day. She said the record of the Liberal government over the past 11 years is to say one thing, but to do something completely different.

In September, the finance minister was saying that falling revenues would mean a deferral of infrastructure spending, but weeks later, the premier was promising hundreds of millions worth of new infrastructure to the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention.

“The Liberals have surrendered whatever credibility they had on the economic file,” said James. “British Columbians have long memories and they know the Liberals simply cannot be trusted.”

Adrian Dix and the New Democrats believe the Liberal government is not up to the challenge of managing the economy, and British Columbians deserve better. New Democrats are offering change, for the better, one practical step at a time.