Sask. Party leader Brad Wall released the Saskatchewan Party’s complete 2016 election platform Saturday afternoon.
Wall says the platform includes very little new spending and will see the province return to balanced budgets by 2017-18.
The platform includes new initiatives Wall has announced over the past two weeks, such as:
- The Highways 2020 Plan to repair more Saskatchewan highways;
- Canada’s first patent box tax incentive plan to promote commercialization of innovation in Saskatchewan;
- The Graduate Retention Plan First Home Program to help graduates purchase a first home; and,
- Individualized funding for young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Wall says the platform also includes a new measure to help make life more affordable for seniors.
Starting in 2017, seniors with household income below $70,000 will be able to defer all or part of their education property taxes.
Those taxes would not have to be repaid until the property is transferred or sold.
Wall also outlined the Saskatchewan Party’s plan to rebuild the province’s rainy day fund and pay down debt.
He says the Sask. Party will use oil revenues gained by the province to build a $500 million balance in the province’s rainy day fund – the Growth and Financial Security Fund – when the price of oil exceeds a threshold of $75 U.S per barrel (WTI).
Once the fund has achieved a $500 million balance, oil revenues received by the province above the $75 U.S. per barrel (WTI) threshold will be dedicated to debt repayment.
Wall said once the government’s operational debt has been paid off, excess oil revenues will be used to create a new Saskatchewan Futures Fund.
The Saskatchewan Party government has reduced the operational debt by $2.7 billion or 40 per cent since 2007, saving taxpayers about $1.2 billion in interest costs.
The total cost of the Saskatchewan Party platform in terms of new spending commitments is $105.4 million over four years.