Well, it’s confirmed. The Selinger government posted a $910 million deficit in 2011-12, according to the province’s public accounts released Friday.
The government spent a staggering $910 million more in core government spending than it took in from taxes, fees, government transfers and other revenues, including liquor and gambling profits.
It’s not good. The NDP have tried to convince the public that a big chunk of this record deficit was due to last year’s severe flooding.
But according to the public accounts report, only about one-third of the deficit is from flooding expenditures.
The rest is from regular over-spending in government, including bloated bureaucracies in departments like health care and education.
Remember those 11 vice-presidents and seven high-paid spin doctors that work at the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority? Their salaries eventually make it on to these financial statements.
What’s worse is last year’s deficit — excluding flood spending — is almost double what it was the year before. In 2010-11, the Selinger government posted a $340-million deficit. So instead of getting core government spending under control, the NDP has made the problem worse.
Naturally they have to borrow money to pay for these cumulative deficits. And our grandchildren and their grandchildren will have to pick up the tab.
Virtually every level of debt that’s measured by the province is up this year. And provincial government debt as a percentage of the economy continues to grow and now sits at 26% of GDP, up from 23% the year before.
It’s a pretty bleak picture.