Opposition Leader Brian Pallister is charging the NDP government with misleading Manitobans by characterizing the recent downgrade in the province’s credit rating as something they expected and by not recognizing the impact on the province’s bottom line.
“By willfully ignoring repeated warnings from credit ratings experts and others, and refusing to get a handle on wasteful spending and uncontrolled borrowing, this NDP government is blindly digging us into a deeper and deeper hole,” said Official Opposition Leader Brian Pallister.
On Friday, Moody’s issued the first credit downgrade the province has received in 30 years. While Finance Minister Greg Dewar was not available for comment, a spokesperson said the downgrade wouldn’t significantly affect borrowing costs and any potential change was factored into this year’s budget.
“Budget 2015 clearly states they anticipate a steady credit outlook in 2015, and touts a so-called commitment to fiscal responsibility leading to stable or improved credit ratings. Now they’re saying they planned on the first downgrade in 30 years,” Pallister said. “Is it any wonder no one believes them anymore?”
Health care, education and other essential front line services will suffer as a result of the downgrade. Observers are looking for the government to control spending, rein in unbridled borrowing and get their financial house in order – three things this government cannot do.
The debt burden went to 143% of revenue in 2014, from 116.7% in 2010.Moody’s projects that failure to control spending will result in the debt burden growing to 160% of revenue by 2018.