Parsing Nova Scotia’s Partial Budget

Finance Minister Diana Whalen delivered a budget which she says will set a path for economic growth. Perhaps, but there’s still a lot of work to do, especially getting public spending under control and providing much needed clarity on taxes. While small businesses are pleased to see some financial restraint, CFIB remains very concerned about the level of spending in the public service in Nova Scotia. Public sector wage and benefits are outpacing economic growth leaving a deficit and debt burden which is clearly unsustainable. Had previous the government not committed to these generous settlements, the Finance department indicated Nova Scotia would be reporting a $200 million surplus this year. Over 81 percent of small business owners when asked what the Nova Scotia government should do to balance its budget said reduce the size of government and 61 per cent said reduce spending. With significant labour negotiation ahead, CFIB is recommending the government hold the line on public sector wage and benefit settlements.