News release

Economic Advisors Release Report

NOTE: Downloadable hi-res photographs and a social media version of this release, including video and audio clips, will be available later today, Nov. 13, at www.gov.ns.ca/news/smr/2009-11-13-report-released.asp .

A return to strong economic growth alone will not be enough to halt the province's growing deficit, a panel of economic advisors said today, Nov. 13.

"Nova Scotia is confronting a very serious fiscal challenge and the province must deal with difficult decisions in the months and years ahead," said Donald Savoie, chair of the panel. "Doing nothing is not an option. More to the point, the status quo is simply not sustainable."

The panel, appointed in August to help identify options for addressing Nova Scotia's fiscal challenges, recommends government erase the deficit by 2012-13. It proposes dealing with the province's fiscal challenges through tax increases, spending cuts and a new economic growth agenda.

Specific Recommendations include:

  • an effective consultation process to help Nova Scotians understand the scope of the problem
  • exploring adding two per cent to the HST with protection for low-income families and individuals, and consider an increase in personal income tax
  • launching a transparent program review to go beyond across-the-board expenditure cuts that would be implemented over a three-to-four year planning cycle
  • promoting a stronger business climate by strengthening the province's productivity and developing a more highly skilled labour force
  • reviewing the government's public service delivery to promote better co-ordination
  • establishing a premier's council on the economy.

The panel supports government's decision to rescind balanced budget legislation.

The Economic Advisory Panel made the recommendations after reviewing feedback from a cross-section of Nova Scotians and after producing background documents in areas such as expenditure management, revenue generators, economic growth and ways to make life more affordable for Nova Scotians.

The panel members are:

  • Mr. Savoie, Canada Research Chair in Public Administration and Governance, Université de Moncton
  • Elizabeth Beale, president of Atlantic Provinces Economic Council (APEC)
  • Tim O'Neil, former vice-president of the Bank of Montreal and past-president of APEC
  • Lars Osberg, research professor with the Department of Economics, Dalhousie University.

To view the full report, visit www.gov.ns.ca/tpb .

FOR BROADCAST USE:

A return to strong economic growth alone will not be enough to halt province's growing deficit, a panel of economic advisors says today (November 13th).

Donald Savoie, chair of the panel, says Nova Scotia is confronting a very serious fiscal challenge and the province must deal with difficult decisions in the months and years ahead.

The panel, appointed in August to help identify options for addressing Nova Scotia's fiscal challenges, recommends government erase the deficit by 2012-13. It proposes dealing with the province's fiscal challenges through tax increases, spending cuts and a new economic growth agenda.

The panel supports government's decision to rescind balanced budget legislation.

To view the full report, visit w-w-w dot gov dot n-s dot c-a slash t-p-b.

-30-

Media Contact:

Donald Savoie
Economic Panel 506-858-4694