Top News

Most NLers very concerned about the debt

Most Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are worried about provincial debt.
Most Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are worried about provincial debt.

Nearly half of Newfoundland and Labrador residents are “extremely concerned” about the province’s debt situation, according to new polling by Corporate Research Associates (CRA).

The Halifax-based pollster asked 402 Newfoundlanders and Labradorians on a scale of 1-10 how concerned they are about the province’s debt.

A whopping 46 per cent of respondents put their concern level at a “10” and in total 74 per cent said their concern level is between 8-10.

Only three per cent of respondents said they’re not very concerned about debt.

According to the province’s auditor general, the province’s net debt is $12.6 billion, and it increased by $2.3 billion in the last year alone.

The bad news for all those people who are concerned about the debt is that things are going to get worse before they get any better.

The government is running a deficit of around $1.6 billion this year, and even if they hit their ambitious deficit reduction targets for next year, the budget shortfall will still be around $800 million.

The government isn’t counting on returning to surplus until 2022.

Don Mills, the CEO of CRA, said that the poll results are extremely clear-cut.

“The concern is much higher than I expected, to tell you the truth,” he said.

“You don’t often see this high a sentiment on any issue.”

Mills said his impression is that the high numbers are a consequence of high taxes and the economic downturn that have hit the province, as the government tries to get the provincial deficit under control.

“There is a consequence to debt, and Newfoundlanders are the first in the region to start to pay a price for that debt,” he said.

“When you hit somebody in the pocketbook, you know, it gets their attention.”

The poll is considered to have a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

The Halifax-based pollster asked 402 Newfoundlanders and Labradorians on a scale of 1-10 how concerned they are about the province’s debt.

A whopping 46 per cent of respondents put their concern level at a “10” and in total 74 per cent said their concern level is between 8-10.

Only three per cent of respondents said they’re not very concerned about debt.

According to the province’s auditor general, the province’s net debt is $12.6 billion, and it increased by $2.3 billion in the last year alone.

The bad news for all those people who are concerned about the debt is that things are going to get worse before they get any better.

The government is running a deficit of around $1.6 billion this year, and even if they hit their ambitious deficit reduction targets for next year, the budget shortfall will still be around $800 million.

The government isn’t counting on returning to surplus until 2022.

Don Mills, the CEO of CRA, said that the poll results are extremely clear-cut.

“The concern is much higher than I expected, to tell you the truth,” he said.

“You don’t often see this high a sentiment on any issue.”

Mills said his impression is that the high numbers are a consequence of high taxes and the economic downturn that have hit the province, as the government tries to get the provincial deficit under control.

“There is a consequence to debt, and Newfoundlanders are the first in the region to start to pay a price for that debt,” he said.

“When you hit somebody in the pocketbook, you know, it gets their attention.”

The poll is considered to have a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Latest News