Thursday, April 26, 2012


The predicted austerity  budget turned out to be a "shrug of the shoulders" affair.

The captain instructed the crew to steer clear of any brewing tempests. There is enough supplies in the holds to get the good ship of state to the next port without battening down the hatches as we sail into deficits.

In fact, the austerity budget delivered by Finance Minister Tom Marshall increased overall spending, hires more government employees and exposes a sense of confidence over the general direction the province is going in.

The oft articulated  three per cent cuts never appeared. Instead the province offered up an increase of small increase in spending, some $153.5 million.

There was some rejigging. Savings were found, contract jobs were cut and the funds "redeployed" to important initiatives like the three million to keep the Republic of Doyle on the air. At a time when government employees are going to be knocking on the doors and told to hold the line, spending millions on a tv show sends out some mixed signals.

However, for the average person, this was a non-event. Life will go on as normal. There is no room for panic.

Is there something in the water, the air, or are the Chicken Littles all smoking the same substance?

Statoil has found who knows how much oil in the Flemish Pass. How much awaits in Old Harry?  The satellite fields and Hebron are coming on-stream in a big way. Huge investments are going ahead regardless of whether Muskrat Falls ever sees the light of day. There is a metal rush occurring in the world, our Iron ore, nickel, gold and other minerals are greatly sought after. Billions of tonnes have been discovered and are being tapped.

We can run surpluses for the next 20 years without serious difficulty.

Let the good times roll!

Let some other generation worry about it!

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