By: CKOM News
See original article here.
With prices still on the rise in Saskatchewan, the provincial government is now ready to provide financial help to its residents.
In a video posted on social media Monday, Premier Scott Moe announced that everyone aged 18 and over in the province will be getting $500 from the Saskatchewan government this fall.
Moe has been hinting for months that the province would offer some kind of relief for consumers given the rising resource prices.
Moe said that windfall for the province is responsible for the government’s financial picture improving. Finance Minister Donna Harpauer is to lay out the details Tuesday when she outlines the province’s first-quarter financial report.
“You own the resources and you should benefit when those resource prices are high,” Moe told viewers.
“So this fall, we’ll be sending a $500 affordability tax credit cheque to everyone in Saskatchewan aged 18 and older to help with some of those rising costs.”
The prices of potash, oil and gas have risen significantly, which Moe said “has greatly improved our budget position, from a deficit to a surplus.”
When Harpauer delivered the budget in March, the province’s deficit was expected to be $463 million. The government also announced it would start charging the provincial sales tax on certain items and added other new fees.
Moe said Harpauer will have more to say about the cheques, as well as the deficit, during Tuesday’s media conference.
“She will also announce some other important measures, like paying down debt and helping our small businesses in Saskatchewan,” Moe said.
“We are able to do these things because we have a strong and growing economy. Our industries are driving growth, they’re creating jobs and they’re keeping Saskatchewan strong and that means that we are able to help you deal with these rising costs.
“That’s growth that works for everyone.”
NDP Finance Critic Trent Wotherspoon issued a statement after Moe’s video appeared, calling the government’s offering ” ‘buy’-election bucks.”
The government is required to call a byelection in the Saskatoon Meewasin constituency, a seat that previously was held by then-NDP Leader Ryan Meili.
“While Saskatchewan families have been struggling with historic inflation rates, rising cost of living expenses and record gas prices, the Sask. Party sat on billions in windfall revenues,” Wotherspoon wrote. “Not only did they sit on these windfall revenues, but they also increased taxes and utility rates, adding to the hardships many Saskatchewan families and businesses were already facing.
“They should have offered this relief months ago as we’ve been calling for, in addition to scrapping their new taxes, utility increases and fee hikes.”
Wotherspoon noted that while governments in other provinces offered some relief for inflation, the Saskatchewan Party waited until just before the byelection call to provide financial help to residents.
“This money belongs to the people of Saskatchewan, not the Sask. Party,” Wotherspoon wrote. “The Sask. Party will consistently put their political interests above the wellbeing of the people of Saskatchewan — as they have done with these ‘buy’-election bucks.”