Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 15/5/2015 (982 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
You may have read about the NDP’s recent decision to begin focusing its financial deficit reporting on the government’s “core services,” leaving out accounting for the financial performances of Crown corporations and other provincial government agencies. Two questions that immediately come to mind are: why and why now?
The answer is that Manitoba Hydro, in particular, is heading into some rough financial water and the NDP does not want to count losses that will drive up the government’s “summary deficit.” It is ironic that the government wants to hide Hydro’s losses from us because it is the NDP’s own insistence that Hydro expand in a time of declining export revenues and flattening domestic need that is driving these losses.
Under the NDP’s revised reporting scheme, core services accounting will record revenue from government’s massive levies on Hydro for capital taxes, debt guarantee fees and water rental charges, totalling $341 million last year and forecast to rise in the future, plus PST on utility bills and income taxes from Hydro’s employees and contractors. But, on the other side of the ledger, it will ignore the utility’s anticipated losses.
What Premier Greg Selinger and Finance Minister Greg Dewar and, for that matter, the entire NDP caucus count on is that Manitobans will not figure out the real reason for the change in reporting. Their arrogance astounds as they think we are so easy to fool with their trickery.