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The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Unsustainability Problem #nlpoli

The annual budget consultation farce started on Monday with a couple of sessions.

This year the provincial government has turned out a budget simulator that is supposed “to illustrate the tough budget choices” the provincial government is facing and “to promote a public dialogue on how we can set a sustainable fiscal course.”

The simulation . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Unsustainability Problem #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: “We are an island economy” and other nonsense #nlpoli

CBC’s On Point  this weekend delivered up some all-too-familiar conversation on the budget and a political panel talking about Judy Manning but sometimes you have to look closely at things to appreciate the value in public comments by politicians and reporters.

In an interview with David Cochrane, finance minister Ross Wiseman confirmed that he cannot . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: “We are an island economy” and other nonsense #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: How do they run things? Budget Lead-Up #nlpoli

Finance minister Charlene Johnson will read the new provincial budget speech on Thursday.

In keeping with the provincial Conservative tradition, though, they’ve been announcing bits and pieces of the budget already.  On Monday, for example, justice minister Darin King announced that the new budget would contain money for 20 new sheriff’s officer to provide court . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: How do they run things? Budget Lead-Up #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: The Politics of Oil and Budgets #nlpoli

When any country or province depends heavily on the money that comes from resource extraction, it affects politics there.

Political scientist Michael Ross is probably the most recent author on the subject. Terry Karl has also written extensively on the resource curse.  She wrote of the best known books on the subject:  The paradox of . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Politics of Oil and Budgets #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Not exactly, there, Tom, b’y #nlpoli

As part of the orchestrated campaign to attack the people making the comments instead of the comments themselves , finance minister Tom Marshall trotted out in front of the news media on Friday to lace into a group of five lawyers.

Marshall said comments by five lawyers opposed to Muskrat Falls were “nothing new” and . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Not exactly, there, Tom, b’y #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Marshall’s release doesn’t match DBRS public statements #nlpoli

Simply put, Tom Marshall’s most recent news release about the report by Dominion Bond Rating Service doesn’t match what the bond rating agency said in a news release about the provincial government’s finances.

You can see that pretty clearly if you read the whole release from DBRS.

The release indicates that DBRS uses . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Marshall’s release doesn’t match DBRS public statements #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Art of Budget Forecasting #nlpoli

The provincial government set its budget this year based on an oil price forecast of US$124 a barrel in 2012.

As we move up on the midway point in the fiscal year (it starts on April 1), oil is well below that.  The result is that the provincial government could wind up with a deficit . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Art of Budget Forecasting #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Reality Check: drops and buckets version #nlpoli

Via labradore, a chart that plots Conservative unsustainable public spending since 2003 with recently announced controls on discretionary spending.

-srbp-

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Another call for an oil investment fund #nlpoli

In a column in the weekend Ottawa Citizen, Brian Lee Crowley of the Macdonald-Laurier Institute made a convincing argument for investing provincial government oil revenue in an investment fund:

Natural resource revenues, by contrast, gyrate wildly. The temptation, when prices are high, is to pretend those revenues will always exist, causing a cycle of booms . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Another call for an oil investment fund #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Bow-Wow Parliament lacks bark and bite #nlpoli

In the wake of the latest revelations of financial mismanagement in the provincial government, SRBP has been looking at some of the possible contributing developments over the past decade or more.

Last week, SRBP noted that it appears the provincial government broke up the treasury board secretariat around 2007.  They sent some of its bits . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Bow-Wow Parliament lacks bark and bite #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: The Hard Road Ahead #nlpoli

If the provincial government can actually get control on its spending and head down the road to management reform along the lines that Eastern Health’s Vicki Kaminski talked about on Tuesday, then they are headed down the right road.

Kaminski described the results of a review of EH’s operations that showed the regional health . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Hard Road Ahead #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: More pork for the buck #nlpoli

The CBC’s John Gushue has a tidy analysis of Premier Kathy Dunderdale’s recent suggestion that government employees could work from home in the future as a way of cutting down on government real estate costs.

Gushue notes that people have been talking about “telework” for a couple of decades.  But where it was once an . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: More pork for the buck #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: There’s no greater fraud… “unsustainable” version #nlpoli

The provincial Conservatives promised on Tuesday that they had a 10 year plan to reduce the provincial debt.

They have been in office since 2003.  in that time they boosted public sector spending by more than 60%.  Since 2009, the Conservatives have acknowledged their spending practices are unsustainable.

To date they have done nothing to . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: There’s no greater fraud… “unsustainable” version #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Significant budget digits #nlpoli

As you try and contain your excitement on provincial budget day, here are a few numbers you might want to keep in mind:

Dozens:  What CBC reported on Friday as the number of layoffs in the budget.

Fewer than 150:  What CBC reported on Monday as the likely number of layoffs in the budget.

$5.0 . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Significant budget digits #nlpoli

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: If Danny didn’t have the balls for it… #nlpoli

Job cuts in the public service.  One of the more spectacular communications frig ups by the Premier lately.

Here’s what your humble e-scribbler said on March 6:

So if Danny Williams couldn’t cut anything even after saying it in plain language, what makes anyone think that Kathy Dunderdale and the rest of her crew are . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: If Danny didn’t have the balls for it… #nlpoli