STRIKING THE RIGHT BALANCE
SEEKING THE RIGHT BALANCE
Mr. Speaker, the budget last year put forward an ambitious action plan. Significant new measures were announced for youth, education, health and helping those most in need, as well as infrastructure and jobs and growth. This budget builds on that foundation.
We have been fortunate in the aftermath of September 11 that our economy has remained strong and our economic outlook positive. I heard during pre-budget consultations that part of government’s role is to help create the right economic climate for investment and growth.
I also heard that we should sustain social programs, even if that means running a modest deficit. The view expressed by most Newfoundlanders and Labradorians was that they preferred this alternative to reduced social programs.
We have avoided reductions to programs by taking this advice. We believe the most responsible course is to incur an affordable deficit. The stability this creates contributes greatly to supporting a positive economic climate. At the same time, we are using the financial flexibility we do have to undertake some important initiatives.
Our economy is expected to continue to grow strongly, which is what this province needs to sustain social programs. We share in the optimism many express about the economic future of this province. This allows us in this budget to maintain the course set last year and build on this with new initiatives.
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