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The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Things are THAT bad #nlpoli

David Thompson is an independent economist in the same way that Jerry Earle and Wayne Lucas are independent human resource consultants.But the problem isn’t that CBC couldn’t make a factual statement in the first three words of a news story. Nor is… . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Things are THAT bad #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Newfoundland government finance, 1832 to 1949 #nlpoli

Before Newfoundlanders stopped governing themselves in the early winter of 1934, they’d run a sometimes arduous course.Newfoundland gained a limited form of self-government in 1832 and in 1855 gained Responsible Government.  That gave control of… . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Newfoundland government finance, 1832 to 1949 #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Endless Supply of Sacred Cows 2015 #nlpoli

On the first day of the session in the House of Assembly, the finance minister tabled an interim supply bill for slightly more than $2.7 billion.

Supply is the word the use in the House of Assembly for money the government will use to run things. Interim supply is an amount to tide things over . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Endless Supply of Sacred Cows 2015 #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Elephant in the Room, the Astigmatic Seer, and other horrifying budget tales #nlpoli

Has anyone noticed a small problem in all the discussions about next year’s budget?

On Point’s David Cochrane had both NAPE’s Carol Furlong and the Conservative’s pet economist Wade Locke on the show to talk about the next budget.  Carol was warning against cuts.  Locke was talking about a request by Tom Marshall last year . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Elephant in the Room, the Astigmatic Seer, and other horrifying budget tales #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Double-down Locke #nlpoli

“I didn’t see this coming,”  Memorial University economist Wade Locke told the Telegram’s James McLeod the other day. Locke was talking about the dramatic drop in oil prices over the past week and a half.

The day before, Locke was on VOCM’s morning talk show dismissing this low oil price stuff as just a passing . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Double-down Locke #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Whizzo Quality Assortment #nlpoli

On the outside, the spring budget for 2014 looks like a delicious assortment of goodies for everyone.  You can tell it is delectable because everyone is shouting for joy and drooling over their good fortune.

There is not a single group who have had their hands out for government money that did not get something. . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Whizzo Quality Assortment #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Vibrant Unsustainable Super Energy Debt Warehouse #nlpoli

The Conservatives used to say that Newfoundland and Labrador was eastern North America’s energy warehouse.  Once Danny Williams ran for the hills and left Kathy Dunderdale in charge, she kicked everything up a notch.

Energy warehouse was too plain for Kathy, whose party ran on the slogan “New Energy” in the 2011 general election.

With . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Vibrant Unsustainable Super Energy Debt Warehouse #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Could be right. Could be wrong. #nlpoli

If you accept the provincial government’s version of things, spending a half a billion dollars more than you are collecting is a responsible decision.

That’s the headline the government’s communications people put on the news release covering the release of the fall budget update.

And if you look at either the Telegram or the CBC . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Could be right. Could be wrong. #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Political Mummers’ Parade on Monday #nlpoli

Finance minister Tom Marshall will present his mid-year financial update on Monday.  It is supposed to be a way of bringing everyone up to date on how the annual budget is going. It’s an accountability thing.

Since the government’s fiscal year starts in April, the middle of the year was September.  So December is well . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Political Mummers’ Parade on Monday #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Debt, Demand, and Delusions #nlpoli

The Conservatives running the province got together with their staff and key supporters this weekend to reaffirm their conviction that they alone ought to be running the province.

Some people seem to think it’s remarkable that they stand together behind Kathy Dunderdale and her supposed wonderful charm, despite what the polls says.

There’s nothing remarkable . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Debt, Demand, and Delusions #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Political Will and Public Policy #nlpoli

The SIDI simulation of government spending that we’ve run this past week might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but these sort of thought exercises are always useful.

The most striking thing is the amount of money from oil and mining that the provincial government has spent in the past seven years:  $15.6 billion.  That’s . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Political Will and Public Policy #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Well on the way to Debt Freedom #nlpoli

According to economist-consultant Wade Locke, the provincial government’s “Sustainability” Plan includes a debt commitment:

The long-run target is to bring the province’s net per capita debt gradually down to the all-province level within ten years.

Locke made it clear in another part of his March 25 memo to finance minister Jerome Kennedy that the . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Well on the way to Debt Freedom #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Land of Confusion meets World of Hurt #nlpoli

From Tuesday’s Hansard comes this chilling reminder that even the Premier has no idea what is going on with the province’s finances.

Mr. Speaker, I again have to implore the members opposite to stop pretending that you do not understand the fiscal structure of the Province. The $600 million that was earmarked in the Department . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Land of Confusion meets World of Hurt #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Pennies and Pounds #nlpoli

In May 2011, the provincial public works department issued a call for proposals to replace the lift bridge in Placentia.

In August 2011, the department scrapped the project and went back for a re-think.  They got only one proposal for $43.25 million, which upset them given that they had figured it would only cost $24 . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Pennies and Pounds #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: One Newsroom. Two Stories. @nlpoli

For the English crowed in Newfoundland and Labrador, @cbcnl gave its audience one story from the Auditor General’s report.

They focused on horrendous salary increases in one government agency.

From the Radio Canada desk in the same newsroom comes a completely different story that fits exactly with the Big Story that has been dominating headlines . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: One Newsroom. Two Stories. @nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Putting selective “facts” on the splitting table #nlpoli

Premier Kathy Dunderdale wants to have a  “conversation” about the provincial government’s financial mess and the ways we might fix it. That’s what she told CBC’s David Cochrane in her year-end interview. 

One of the things Kathy wants to talk about is taxes, specifically the number of people not paying the bulk of the . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Putting selective “facts” on the splitting table #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Where the Money Comes From #nlpoli

Just to put the provincial government budget in perspective, here are the top five sources of cash that come into the treasury from what are considered the province’s own sources.

This table is based on the Estimates for Budget 2012.  Oil royalties are the major source of revenue by quite a margin.  They make . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Where the Money Comes From #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Root of the Problem #nlpoli

Mr. Speaker, if the members opposite think that the level of scrutiny that we do over a $3 billion expenditure in health care is to take every single health authority and work down line by line by line through every piece of that, I do not know what they are thinking over there.

Health . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Root of the Problem #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Public debt and financial mismanagement #nlpoli

A few days ago, Stephen Taylor posted a table from a 2010 study that showed how big Quebec’s public debt is compared to that of countries around the world.

The results weren’t pretty.

A similar comparison for Newfoundland and Labrador isn’t pretty either.

A rough comparison for Newfoundland and Labrador reveals some interesting . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Public debt and financial mismanagement #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Fiscal conservative, you say? #nlpoli

One of the more curious comments from provincial Conservative supporters lately has been the claim that they support the current Connie administration provincially because they – the supporters – are fiscal conservatives.

labradore has already challenged one such claim with a look at the provincial labour force figures.  Here’s the chart from labradore’s post. It . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Fiscal conservative, you say? #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Dundernomics 101: Public Sector Employment Numbers #nlpoli

In an interview with CBC’s David Cochrane, Premier Kathy Dunderdale said that the public service has grown by more than 2,100 jobs in the past eight years and that total employment in the public service is about 9,000.

Well, not exactly.  That depends on what you consider to be public sector and “public service”.

As . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Dundernomics 101: Public Sector Employment Numbers #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The old cabinet documents ploy #nlpoli #cdnpoli

Premier Kathy Dunderdale and her ministers refuse to hand over documents on more than $5.0 billion in public works spending by the Conservatives since 2004.

The documents are cabinet secrets, as their argument goes, and under the access to information law cabinet cannot release that information to him.

like her predecessor, Premier Dunderdale was unavailable . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The old cabinet documents ploy #nlpoli #cdnpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: AG Report–Government Liabilities #nlpoli

The latest report by the province’s Auditor General has some information to bear in mind as we talk about Muskrat Falls.

Note that total liabilities went up from the end of March 2010 to the end of March 2011.  It now stands at more than $13 billion.

But…

Financial assets are now slightly below . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: AG Report–Government Liabilities #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Wading through Locke on Muskrat (Part 3) #nlpoli #cdnpoli

[continued from Part 2]

Debt

One of the issues Wade Locke set out to address was the impact Muskrat Falls would have on public debt. For some other information on Muskrat Falls and public debt, check this earlier post.

Slide 43 is a table of debt servicing amounts based on the amount borrowed and the . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Wading through Locke on Muskrat (Part 3) #nlpoli #cdnpoli

Excited Delirium: Open The Books for Everyone

Here’s a great piece from David Climenhaga contributing to rabble about fiscal openness. While it’s extremely unlikely that the Harperites will follow his advice, I fully agree that now is the time to open all books for any organization that receives (or received) public funds of any kind. If unions are being wrenched open – . . . → Read More: Excited Delirium: Open The Books for Everyone