The Saskatchewan NDP is once again calling on the Government of Saskatchewan to provide residents with some affordability relief.
The Offical Opposition has been calling for relief for months, which Premier Scott Moe said would come by early fall if resource prices remain strong. Financial reports showed the province raked in $500 million in additional resource revenue in the first three months of 2022 alone.
With the Government ranking in record windfall revenues, Finance Critic Trent Wotherspoon said that there is no reason people did to face the extraordinary crushing cost of living crisis that is costing them their quality of life.
“The provincial government has the revenues, has the fiscal compacity and has a duty to provide Saskatchewan people, who are the owners of our resources, affordability relief now,” he said. “We know that the financial first quarter has concluded, 40 days ago, we know the revenues are through the roof, we know the province understated to start, but we also know that Saskatchewan people are facing this serious hardship and need.”
The NDP would like to see an immediate cost of the living rebate, the suspension of the 15-cent fuel tax, and the scrapping of PST on restaurants and children’s clothing, as well as an immediate rebate of the 22 million dollars divided that SaskEnergy paid to the Government and quarterly reviews of utility rates like other provinces in Canada, are doing.
It wasn’t just the Offical Opposition calling for relief, but Angela Vos, the farmer and small business owner, echoed the same sentiments as Wotherspoon.
“The current cost-of-living crisis is crushing family farming. The recent utility increases approved by this Government will mean astronomical costs to maintain our family farm. We don’t have a choice, and this will be extremely difficult in the winter months,” said Vos. “I can’t believe how out of touch this government is with the needs of rural Saskatchewan and Saskatchewan families.”
Wotherspoon said he believes some relief will come, not due to people struggling but the upcoming Saskatoon Meewasin Byelection.
“They want to play politics with it,” he stated. We are maybe going to see a bit of affordability when they introduce the financial first quarters in the weeks to come, just before a byelection in Saskatoon. It’s all about political self-interest instead of the public interest, for Saskatchewan people.”