KAMLOOPS — The federal Conservative Party is criticizing the Liberal government for what it calls excessive spending in Tuesday's budget.
Finance Minister Bill Morneau says the government has $19.8 billion in additonal cash to spend over the next six years - an average of $3.3 billion per year. That money includes $1.4 billion dollars over six years to support Indigenous children in foster care and $251 million over five years to help the province's and territories battle the opioid epidemic (for a full list of spending plans click here).
However, Morneau says there will also be a $18.1 billion shorfall for 2018-2019 adding that's expected to shrink to $12.3 billion in 2022-23. That figure doesn't sit well with Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP Cathy McLeod.
"I think it won't be any surprise that this government spending continues to be a really big concern to me. I don't think I've ever seen a government that spends so much to achieve so little."
Her colleague, Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola MP Dan Albas, shares those concerns.
"Andrew Scheer's Conservatives are trying to put people before government and unfortunately budget 2018 has placed government over people," he told CFJC Today. "This is a government that was elected on a promise to only spend $10 billion a year in deficit over two years and then slowly return back into balance in 2019. We know that's not the case."
Albas adds the budget offers very little for British Columbians.
"For example there is nothing in this budget in relation to affordability and helping a first time home buyer. There is very little talk, if any, of last year's budget, which was all about infrastructure. This government knows they have the most ambitious plan ever but when it comes to actually building infrastructure, they lapse funding, they can't seem to get shovels into the ground."
He also notes there was almost no mention of the Canadian Armed Forces and money to build more modern facilities.
However both McLeod and Albas are happy the feds are committing money to the opioid crisis though Albas questions whether it will be enough.
"The problem that you have is you have a commitment of $251 million over five years. That's 10 provinces and three territories - that's less than $5 million per province. And so the issue is whether this will help with the crisis or if it just gives the government some cover.
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