PC leader Jamie Baillie, NDP leader Darrell Dexter and Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil
By Belle Hatfield
It didn’t take long for opposition parties to respond to the NDP platform released early on Friday morning, Sept. 6.
In 2009 the NDP was the party on the brink of power. Leading in the polls and tasting the prospect of governing for the first time in its history in Nova Scotia, the party stuck to a simple, seven point campaign that seemed designed to allay fears. The 2009 campaign was framed as a plan to make life better for today’s families. The NDP platform released today after four years in power is headlined as a better future for today’s families. The NDP is promising a reduction in the HST, to move forward with the Maritime Link project, and to maintain a balanced budget. In their one-page release, the government says the annual cost of the entire platform is $34,350,000.
Liberal leader Stephen McNeil takes issue with the numbers.
“There’s something missing out of that platform and that’s the cost of it,” he said in an interview with the Vanguard. Using current spending figures, he said reducing the HST by one per cent would cost the province $200 million.
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“Where’s that coming from? We don’t know,” he said.
In its media release the NDP said it would be providing more details “whenever the next election takes place.”
For PC leader Jamie Baillie, the NDP platform was a matter of déjà vu.
“The premier’s plan is the exact same as the one he presented four years ago,” he said in a media release.
The NDPs platform does offer much the same as four years ago in terms of health care, protection of seniors and support for kids.
Baillie said it was “offensive” to see that the government is now promising to lower the HST when it ran in the last election on a promise not to raise taxes.
In the media release the province’s premier, NDP leader Darrell Dexter said, “The experience of the NDP allows Nova Scotians to see a platform that is fully costed and will keep the budget balanced so that important programs and services for families and seniors will be protected.”