HALIFAX – Progressive Conservative leader Jamie Baillie today released a plan for change that tells Nova Scotians not only what he will do as premier, but how he will pay for it.
In releasing his party’s platform, Change That Works, Baillie noted that he has identified more than $200 million in cost savings in each of the next four years that will be used to deliver tax breaks for Nova Scotians and fund new jobs and smart investments in education and health – all within balanced budgets.
“Real change for Nova Scotians means telling Nova Scotians before an election not just what you will do, but how you will pay for it,” said Baillie, a chartered accountant, in a news release. “With a $14 billion debt being passed on to our children and grandchildren, we can’t afford to keep doing things the same old way.”
Among the major commitments in Change That Works:
· Freezing power rates at 2014 levels for all Nova Scotians for the next five years;
· Creating 20,000 new jobs by scrapping the small business tax, increasing the equity tax credit, ripping up job killing NDP labour laws and cutting red tape;
· Lowering the HST to 13% – where it stood before Darrell Dexter’s broke his promise and raised taxes – and targeting tax relief for drivers, seniors, parents and teachers;
· Improving classroom education for children and young people by linking new investments to results, with legislated smaller class sizes up to grade six and clearer, more consistent report cards;
· Putting patients and families first by redirecting about $60 million in administrative savings in health care to the front lines; and
· Fixing government at the top by getting rid of the rich MLA pension plan, bringing back the balanced budget law, keeping the NDP promise to reduce the size of government and reviewing all government programs and services, as well as Crown corporations for additional savings.
“Change that Works is the kind of plan that Nova Scotians tell me they want – a plan that will lower taxes, freeze power rates, stop wasteful spending and get Nova Scotians back to work,” concluded Baillie.
To address questions raised last year by the Auditor General about the accuracy of NDP budgeting, costing for the PC platform also includes a contingency line in each of the next three fiscal years.
“In this election, there are three parties asking for your vote, but only two choices,” Baillie said. “Nova Scotians can vote for more of the same from the Liberals and NDP or real change with the Progressive Conservatives.”