December 17th, 2020

Financial update shows need for major investments, plan for economic recovery

HALIFAX -- Today’s financial update on the 2020-2021 budget shows the impact of COVID-19 is far-reaching.

“Today’s update shows that the people of Nova Scotia have been hit hard by the economic fallout of COVID-19. Even before the pandemic, Nova Scotia had the lowest median income in Canada, and the worst trajectory of child poverty in the country,” said NDP Leader Gary Burrill. “People need a government that understands the struggle of finding an affordable place to live, the issues with access to child care, and the need for paid sick days for all workers -- not one that thinks ‘getting back to normal’ is good enough.”

The Liberal government has approved almost $1 billion in additional appropriations for the 2020-2021 budget. Cabinet also increased the government’s borrowing authority by $1 billion for a total of $2.75 billion if needed. While research shows that women and racialized communities have been disproportionately impacted by the economic downturn, the financial update does not include any plans to address this.

“The Liberal government has approved hundreds of millions of dollars in additional spending without input, oversight, or debate from the legislature,” said NDP Finance spokesperson Claudia Chender. “Considering the major impact the pandemic has had on our economy, the Liberal government must create an economic recovery task force to ensure that investments are made where they will have the greatest impact for those who need it most.”

The Nova Scotia legislature has not met since March 10. The Liberal government will prorogue the legislature tomorrow, Friday December 18.