'This is the time to invest in people': Sask. NDP platform plans deficit to make way for spending on healthcare, schools
SASKATOON -- The Saskatchewan NDP election platform shows years of more debt to accommodate for increased spending on healthcare and education.
The NDP plans to end its term with a $526 million deficit, according to the party’s election platform released Friday morning.
While the Sask. Party also plans deficit spending, it says a re-elected government would end a four-year mandate with a $43.4 million surplus.
“This is the time to invest in people,” Sask. NDP leader Ryan Meili told reporters, referring to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The cuts on offer from Scott Moe are a bad idea anytime, but right now, they’re downright dangerous.”
The increased debt under the NDP plan, follows a boost in education and healthcare spending.
The NDP plans to spend $125 million on a "safer schools" plan, which includes cutting class sizes and hiring more teachers.
The platform shows $150 million will be spent on hiring more staff at hospitals and “building the best home care in Canada.”
“We’ll make the investments to put people first, get our economy moving, generate the revenue to pay for what matters most and to help each other out during this difficult time,” Meili said.
The NDP platform also includes:
- Gradually increasing the minimum wage, with the goal of $15 per hour by 2024-25
- Introduce accessible $25 per day childcare
- Lower SGI rates to about $85 per vehicle
- Eliminate interest from student loans
- Bring back the film tax credit
- Remove PST on construction labour
- Restore funding to the Northern Teacher Education Program
- Open emergency rooms dedicated to mental health
- Spend $5 million on a suicide prevention strategy
- Provide mental health nurses at schools
- Move to 50 per cent renewable and non-emitting electricity by 2023
- Spend $10 million every year to act on the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
- Spend $2 million on an opioid and crystal meth strategy
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