Opposition parties attacked the NDP budget Thursday as just that – an NDP budget.
The government has insisted it is mostly reintroducing the spring Tory budget because there wasn’t time to make substantial changes.
But Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil said the NDP loaded the bad news onto this budget to make things easier for them in the future.
“The deficit that’s been created now, the $590 million, is clearly one, in my view, that’s been inflated by this government,” he said.
“There’s a lot of front-loading with the attempt to make the financial situation of our province look worse today so they can blame it on the previous government.”
McNeil said moves like pre-paying $341 million of next year’s university budget are purely political.
Progressive Conservative Leader Karen Casey said she had “some satisfactions and some concerns” with the budget, but denied the massive deficit is the fault of the Tories.
“It’s been said before and it’ll be said many times again. When a government comes into power and there are things Nova Scotians or the people of any other province don’t like, they blame it on the previous government,” Casey proclaimed.
The Tories had projected a slim surplus, but that rested on far rosier economic projections. An independent audit by consulting firm Deloitte concluded the Tory numbers were not realistic.
Thursday Casey responded by saying the NDP numbers are not trustworthy and make things look worse than they are.
Both the Liberals and Tories accused the NDP of taking a political swipe at Tory MP Murray Scott when they removed about $17 million for a new Springhill corrections centre in his riding.