Canadian Taxpayer's Federation says Saskatchewan debt growing too fast

REGINA – The Canadian Taxpayer’s Federation is telling the Saskatchewan government to cut up the credit card.

The federation, which is on a national tour with its debt clock, says the amount Saskatchewan is borrowing is growing too fast.

The federation says the province will have $5.7 billion of debt by the end of the year and says the amount of increasing $2.7 million per day.

Finance Minister Kevin Doherty $700 million will be borrowed this year for highways, health care facilities and joint-use schools, but says it’s necessary.

The borrowed money comes with a two per cent sinking fund attached to be paid back over 30 years, which Doherty maintains “is a responsible use of taxpayer dollars.”

The NDP opposition is also concerned with the amount the province is borrowing.

Finance critic Trent Wotherspoon says after a decade of resource wealth, “it’s shocking that the Sask. Party has to borrow or use pricey P3 rental schemes to get the infrastructure we desperately need.”

Wotherspoon says Premier Brad Wall’s government has spent every penny of the province’s windfall revenues just on operations and have drained the rainy day fund.

“Now they’re piling on debt that we all pay, and our children will pay.”

Todd MacKay, prairie director of the taxpayer’s federation, says Saskatchewan Transit Co. is a prime example of something that could be cut to help eliminate the growing provincial debt.

If STC were to be cut it would save $14 million from being added onto the debt total every year, he says.