Premier Rodney MacDonald didn’t waste any time saying what he thought of the NDP election platform released this week.
“Very clearly, in the numbers they outlined (Tuesday), they are attempting to mislead Nova Scotians,” MacDonald said in his first answer to reporters Wednesday morning.
The NDP platform contained 50 promises totaling $79 million. But they hope to make up that money through other avenues, and project a balanced budget. MacDonald said that was inaccurate and didn’t make any sense.
“They also said it doesn’t cost anything to balance the books of Nova Scotia," he said. "Well, clearly they haven’t indicated where they’re able to find hundreds of millions of dollars in this year alone to deal with that specific issue."
There is currently a shortfall of about $260 million in this and last year’s budgets. The Tories wanted to change finance law to take offshore money to put on the debt in 2005, and bring it back into general revenue to cover the deficit, a vote that led to the government's defeat.
NDP Leader Darrell Dexter said Wednesday there was nothing that could be done about the existing debt, but his party would return the province to balanced books.
“(MacDonald’s) deficit will be recognized in the years in which they were created, which was last year and this year. In our year we will balance the budget,” he said.
“The reason we’re hearing Mr. MacDonald become increasingly more desperate with his rhetoric is because he has had three years to address the issues that are important to people, and he’s let people down.”