This election could be confusing for some. The Conservatives are promising to spend liberally, while the Liberals and NDP are vowing to be fiscally conservative.
The Tories want to use $260 million of offshore offset money to balance their budgets, while the opposition says they’re really going into deficit.
It depends on who you ask — the budget is balanced by generally accepted accounting principles, but not by current Nova Scotia law.
Regardless, the effect is the same. By using offshore offset money that had previously been put on the debt, Nova Scotia’s net debt will grow. The Tories say it’s necessary economic stimulus. The opposition says it’ll cripple future generations with debt payments.
“I will never be able to outspend any of those other two parties. I guarantee it,” said Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil.
“I don’t believe this election will be about who can out-promise who. If it is, that’ll be the same ol’ kind of politics that we’ve had in this province for generations.”
The Tories released a budget yesterday projecting a surplus (including offshore money) of $4 million. The opposition will release their platforms throughout the campaign.