HALIFAX, NS - The students and families served by the Chignecto-Central School Board are losing the services of all 41 of their librarians while the NDP’s Finance Minister has budgeted for 41 extra employees in his own department.
A librarian helping a student with a citation would tell them to reference page 10.2 of the 'Estimates and Supplementary Detail' publication of last week’s budget. It will show the Finance Department with 216 current employees in 2011-12, but budgeted for 257 employees in 2012-13.
"It’s beyond disappointing to see the Finance Minister fund 41 more employees in his own department while wiping out school librarians,” said PC leader Jamie Baillie. "The students and their families have good reason to question the NDP's priorities."
This expansion of the Minister's department is not an isolated incident. Since he became Minister, Graham Steele has overseen a whopping 44 per cent increase in the budget of the province’s Finance Department. It grew from a total of $27.1 million in 2009 (Public Accounts) to $38.9 million in the latest budget.
The 41 extra positions in the Finance Department are also part of a pattern. In total, there are 553 more “full-time equivalents” across all government departments in the latest budget and spending is expected to be $262 million higher. The Finance Department accounts for $4.5 million of that new spending.
“Actions speak louder than words, and it’s clear from their actions that the NDP priorities are not focused on the services that taxpayers care about most,” continued Baillie.
In 2010, the NDP presented a budget claiming: “We expect the civil service will employ 10 per cent fewer people by 2013.” That is about 1,000 positions. The government reports that they reduced the civil service by 427 FTEs over the past three years, since 2009–2010. That puts them 573 FTEs short of next year's target.
Baillie says a PC government would find savings in administration and within government while protecting the frontline classroom and healthcare services that taxpayers care most about.
Department of Finance budget for 2012-13
http://www.novascotia.ca/finance/site-finance/media/finance/budget2012/E... see page 10.2 (page 84 in the PDF document)