Thursday, May 3, 2012

BUDGET OFFERS A FEW AFTER SHOCKS

The echos of the federal and provincial government's prosperity budgets are beginning to form an image.

The federal job cuts began with a handful of jobs being slashed at ACOA and DFO, now dozens of positions have been lost at national parks across the province. The cuts threaten to disrupt the tourist season as much as the poor conditions of the roads.

Only a few contract positions were supposed to be eliminated as a result of the provincial budget. Public servants took a collective sigh of relief as Finance Minister Tom Marshall unveiled a steady as she goes budget that actually increased spending a smidgen.

An eight Billion Dollar budget that held the line on investments in investments health care, education and infrastructure, and only 45 temporary positions were eliminated. It was a little to good to be true. IN the weeks following the budget, the cuts are beginning to materialize. The stuff that did not make the departmental and government MHA press releases.

For example, the tuition freeze at Memorial and CONA was continued. Great news for the throngs of CFA's that are  attracted to the way we subsidize the cost of their education. The not so good news, Memorial was told to find three million in savings and their capital works budget was slashed. Less money from government and higher demands make for a tight situation.

Memorial was quick to announce that they would find the savings on the administration side. The first cut, the Division of Lifelong Learning will close it's doors this fall. 50 part-time employees will affected. The division offered certificate programs as well as personal enrichment and professional development programming. The program was running yearly deficits and could no longer be subsidized.

I womder what other little Easter Eggs are hiding in the 2012 budget?

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