Cheaper gas for Nova Scotians isn’t on the agenda as the government goes into its third week of sitting at the legislature, but Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil said his caucus will support the Tory budget nonetheless.
“When we looked at what was in it, we felt that it was warranted that we support this piece of legislation,” he said yesterday, taking a break from cutting the grass at his Annapolis Valley home.
A major bone of contention for the Liberals since the budget was tabled two weeks ago has been the government’s refusal to ease the high cost of fuel in the province by deregulating gas prices and/or cutting the provincial fuel tax.
“Everything we were looking for wasn’t in this budget and that was one of them,” McNeil said.
But, he said, he will continue to push for relief at the pumps and, in the meantime, McNeil said his caucus will support Premier Rodney MacDonald’s budget.
He said he was happy with several aspects of the document, including a heating rebate program for low-income Nova Scotians, a healthy living tax credit for everyone in the province and a public transit tax credit that will save transit riders about $60 a year.
“With all of that in mind, we decided to support this budget,” McNeil said.
McNeil said he announced his support of the budget Friday — almost a week before the actual vote, which takes place this Thursday — because he felt his party should be up front with Nova Scotians about where they stand.