The B.C. Liberal government is expected to soon reveal its pre-election budget on Tuesday that gave rise to so skepticism, due to its commitment to balance debts, that the officials decided to get it reviewed by outside economists. The review did not turn out as a good news, since even though economist, Tim O’Neill, did give it his over-all approval, he pointed out that the budget overestimated the projected natural gas revenues, since they were an estimation of the last five years instead of eight years.
The officials in the financial ministry hurriedly recalculated the figures and added new projections in consideration, which was almost $70 million too high. Finance Minister, Mike de Jong, confessed that “we had to move quickly to embed some new numbers in the budget.” He added that “folks that are looking for a budget that includes truckloads full of cash promises to British Columbians are going to be disappointed, because we are simply not in a position.” He also explained “we are regaining our fiscal health. We are leading Canada in the return to balanced budgets, but that doesn’t mean we have a lot of money to spare.”
On the other hand, NDP Finance critic, Bruce Ralston, is hoping to hear more about how the Liberals are relying on asset sales to balance the books. He stated that ” whether that is realistic or whether those properties will ever actually be sold and the money reflected in the budget for real is completely another question.” He added that “It’s a form of speculation, really.”
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