Apples and Oranges

Blog, Commentary, Publius Tacitus

In defending the Selinger government’s 2013-14 budget, the Premier links the

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approximately $300 million of new annual revenues projected to be generated by an increase in the PST (provincial sales tax) and other fees with the government’s planned ‘additional’ expenditures on provincial infrastructure.

He infers that without the tax and fee increases, and the revenues they are to bring in, infrastructure investments could not be made (i.e. the latter must  follow the former).

Taxpayers are either being purposely misled, or the government is simply relying on the public’s general lack of knowledge of government accounting.

Selinger fails to note that while the new revenue (from the tax and fee increases) will flow into the Province’s summary accounts over the years of receipt far into the future (unless withdrawn in the future, a  highly unlikely event with the present government),  the expenditures on infrastructure are one-time in nature and be recorded in the Province’s summary accounts as an expense only as the ‘assets’ are amortized over their service lives.

Apples and oranges, and Selinger  knows it.