WHITEHORSE – Last year, the Premier’s budget predicted that the 2019-2020 Budget would have a $6.9 million deficit.
In December, the Government of Canada informed Yukon that it would be receiving an extra $32.7 million in transfer payments in the 2019-2020 fiscal year. This extra money was not previously accounted for in last year’s budget estimates.
This means that the Premier should have been able to table a budget with a $25.8 million surplus.
Instead he tabled a budget with a deficit of $5.9 million.
“It’s clear that the Premier’s spending is out of control and if he hadn’t been bailed out by Ottawa, Yukon would be in even greater deficit,” said Stacey Hassard, Leader of the Official Opposition. “The Premier is trying to pass himself off as a sound financial manager, but even with an extra $32.7 million he was unable to table a surplus.”
At the same time the Premier has confirmed that at the end of this fiscal year his government will have grown government by 659 FTEs.
Further, after giving the Premier a pay increase in the fall, the Liberals have also increased the budget for their political offices by $255,000.
While the Liberals are spending money on growing government and on their own luxuries they are also freezing NGO budgets at 2017/18 levels. This will have a negative impact on a number of important NGOs throughout the Yukon.