News Release from Nova Scotia Chambers of Commerce on their assessment of the provincial 2013-2014 budget.
NS Chamber Cautious on Budget
The Chair of the NS Chamber of Commerce said today that business is getting mixed signals from the budget presented by the government of Nova Scotia on Thursday, April 4/2013.
For Immediate Release
Chris Atwood, Chair of the NS Chamber said that “the business community sees some positive points in the budget such as the projected overall reduction of departmental expenses and that many small Nova Scotia businesses will benefit from the changes in the small business tax rate”.
Atwood also expressed concern about the size of the debt, now at $14 billion, and the planned reduction of civil servants is not on target. “The cost of servicing this debt load will grow while the cost reductions in staff are behind schedule”.
He noted that there is support for small business owners for innovation and learning programs but the NS Chamber in their Pre-budget statement asked for: a balanced budget, lower debt, lower cost of debt service, lower costs of services, in people and for more service delivery by the private sector.
Also, the Auditor General’s letter accepted the assumptions on revenue but did not express an opinion on the expense projections or the projected year end 2012-2013 year end estimates. “With all the rhetoric, we’re not sure the budget is balanced given that health care expenditures are projected to grow at a mere 1.3%, debt is higher- $14 billion, the cost of servicing the debt will be higher going forward and there is new program spending” Atwood said.
Chris Atwood, Chair NS Chamber
Wayne Fiander, Executive Director