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The Sir Robert Bond Papers: How much do we owe? #nlpoli

CBC Radio Noon had board of trade president Des Whalen in the studio on Monday.  

Board of Trade thinks the debt is about $13 billion today.  Don’t talk about Muskrat Falls.  That’s in the past.  Yeah, well, when your humble e-scribbler challenged Des on the numbers the best he could come up with . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: How much do we owe? #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Ball, Bennett, Williams, and Marshall #nlpoli

One of the things finance minister Cathy Bennett told NTV’s Issues and Answers this weekend was that the Premier Dwight Ball scrapped the fall mini-budget in September in favour of his own Grand Strategy for Moving Forward in a Generally Advancing Fashion with Vision.

Ball scrapped the financial course laid out in the budget because of . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Ball, Bennett, Williams, and Marshall #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Sunshine, lollipops, and fluffy kittens #nlpoli

Finance minister Cathy Bennett read words that tried to make the provincial government’s financial situation sound better than it was forecast to be last spring.

For all the wonderful words in Bennett’s scripted remarks, Bennett could not hide the truth. Her tone of voice was more sombre and depressed than if Premier Dwight Ball . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Sunshine, lollipops, and fluffy kittens #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Truth and Reconciliation #nlpoli

Long ago,  so long ago no one remembers when,  they did away with Virtue in Newfoundland​ politics.  To be on the safe side, they slit the throats of her twins, Truth and Justice, and tossed the little corpses on top of their mother’s body before leaving the three in a shallow, unmarked grave in the woods. . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Truth and Reconciliation #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Way Forward #nlpoli

Last December, Dwight Ball laid out his plan to deal with the provincial government’s financial problems.

Ball made the comments to CBC’s David Cochrane a week or two after he’d been sworn in.  This was after he’d been briefed on the provincial government’s financial situation, so he’d had a chance to get over any . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Way Forward #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Prov gov finances headed south #nlpoli

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is offering its bonds on the American market, according to Bloomberg News.  VOCM reported it locally on Wednesday.The provincial government hopes that its high interest rates will attract investors. &nbs… . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Prov gov finances headed south #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Core Public Service Numbers #nlpoli

Somebody requested the number of public servants through Access to Information and the folks in the department answered only half the question.But that’s okay because the figures for the core public service are worth looking at anyway.Regular readers w… . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Core Public Service Numbers #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Rasputisa and the 2016 Budget #nlpoli

The speech finance minister Cathy Bennett read in the House of Assembly on Thursday was as horrible as the reaction most of the province have been having to it.That’s not surprising given that the entire budget communications program was the product of… . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Rasputisa and the 2016 Budget #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Incrementalists #nlpoli

Today is budget day.There’s been lots of speculation flying around, most of it a confirmation that people have little real information about anything. If you have been paying attention, though, you can probably make a fairly good guess at what Thursday… . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Incrementalists #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Sir Robert Bond Papers 2016-03-18 04:30:00

The deficit for 2015 will be a record.We know that because of comments at the House of Assembly by Premier Dwight Ball and finance minister Cathy Bennett.News media are reporting that as “raising the province’s borrowing capacity” but that’s not quite … . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Sir Robert Bond Papers 2016-03-18 04:30:00

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Evidence-based decision-making #nlpoli

James McLeod had a tidy piece in Wednesday’s Telegram on the government’s effort to find a way of out of the financial mess. it’s well worth your time.The document McLeod got through an access to information request shows the extent to which the ca… . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Evidence-based decision-making #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Moody’s warns NL government on finances #nlpoli

Moody’s Investor Services is the second rating agency to give the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador a negative trending  in light of the government’;s financial problems.In a release, Moody’s said that the “negative outlook for the Province … . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Moody’s warns NL government on finances #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Jerry Earle won’t retweet this post #nlpoli

Apparently the surest way to piss off a couple of university academics a.k.a the NDP policy brain-trust is to point out how their take on the government’s financial crisis is out to lunch.Short recap:  Math prof and Indy columnist Tom Baird got … . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Jerry Earle won’t retweet this post #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Revenue problem #nlpoli

Jon Parsons  has an interesting take on the provincial government;s financial mess.  It’s worth taking a few minutes to go through it.  Follow some of the links he offers as well.  Altogether they form what you might call a differ… . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Revenue problem #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: ‘Engagement’ can be an excuse for avoiding action #nlpoli

by Craig WestcottThe Ball administration is off to a shaky start. Actually, it seems afraid to start at all. Tuesday’s press conference announcing 15 months of public consultation on how to handle the deficit is another indication that this administr… . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: ‘Engagement’ can be an excuse for avoiding action #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Enough #nlpoli

You can easily lose track of the number of former cabinets who will tell you the same thing.Ask them about the one lesson of government and budgets that stands in their minds.  They’ll likely all tell you some version of the same thing.There is … . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Enough #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Metrics #nlpoli

Telegram editor Russell Wangersky tried on Monday to put the government’s financial mess into some shape that people could understand.The simple fact, to put a shortfall of $2 billion into perspective, is that if the provincial government wanted to c… . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Metrics #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Consistency #nlpoli

“We need to find a way to bridge us [from] where we are currently until the commodities rebound and be [sic] the significant contributor we need them to be.” That’s what Premier Dwight Ball told NTV’s Mike Connors in an interview that will air in f… . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Consistency #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Advice #nlpoli

New governments often wind up in a bit of a pickle.They walk into a new job where they are supposed to be the folks in charge, but they very often aren’t the people who initially know how everything works. They don’t know how to get things done but… . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Advice #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Merry Christmas Financial Update and other sick jokes #nlpoli

First, anyone who keeps talking about the two percent HST cut simply has no idea what the hell is going on in provincial finances.Seriously.Give it up.You are only embarrassing yourself.Second, absolutely no surprises in the latest update on provincial… . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Merry Christmas Financial Update and other sick jokes #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Small things and big differences #nlpoli

The Auditor General delivered his annual report on some of the provincial government’s programs and services on Wednesday.

We learned, among other things that provincial government consulting contracts have gone horrendously beyond the amount originally budgeted.  The worst case was a contract – presumably related to the Corner Brook hospital  – that wound up  being . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Small things and big differences #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Everything will be fine. Or not. #nlpoli

This pretty picture shows a very ugly problem.

Look at the point (2008) where the red and blue lines separate.  The area in between represents the annual deficit the provincial government has been running. It is the difference between the amount government spent (the blue line) and the amount of income the government had from . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Everything will be fine. Or not. #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Oil Royalty and Oil Price Forecasts (2015) #nlpoli

Don Mills says people in Newfoundland and Labrador have a false impression of the state of the provincial economy.

Wade Locke says Mills is full of it.

To bolster his argument, such as it is, Locke released a raft of pretty charts a couple of weeks ago.

One of them included a slide showing . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Oil Royalty and Oil Price Forecasts (2015) #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Conservatives stay the debt-building course #nlpoli

Budget 2015 offered absolutely no surprises.

On major areas the Conservatives continued their policy of spending more than the provincial treasury can afford.  That’s been their trade-mark since 2003 and it became etched in stone in 2009.

As SRBP forecast a couple of weeks ago, the Conservatives raised a modest amount of money through . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Conservatives stay the debt-building course #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: More of the same. It’s the economy. And, … #nlpoli

Past behaviour is a good indicator of future behaviour.

If that’s the case, then lots of people are getting their knickers in a very great bunch over nothing when it comes to the budget.

The Conservatives set their course with Wade Locke’s prosperity plan. Here are the key elements, as SRBP laid out in 2013

. . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: More of the same. It’s the economy. And, … #nlpoli