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Selinger addicted to wasteful spending
Saturday, 20 February 2016 - 9:45am
Greg Selinger and Manitoba’s NDP government are not very careful with your tax dollars.
If you don’t believe it, here are several examples of wasteful spending worth noting. And if you’re already familiar with them, be sure to share these examples with your friends and coworkers. With any luck, people will vote for a more cost-effective plan, one that includes lower taxes.
Chances are you’re familiar with the Selinger government’s decision to start building a new football stadium without knowing the final design, the cost or who would pay what share. I won’t discuss that example, and the fact the project went more than $100 million over budget, because that would be too easy.
Instead, let’s start with the fact the government has allowed some people – making more than $80,000 per year – to live in subsidized government housing. It’s true. Even stranger, the government refuses to force them out and let truly less fortunate people have access to the units. At the same time, the government keeps building more and more social housing units and raising your taxes. Talk about “management.”
Next, did you know the government spends over $1 million each year putting its logo on giveaway items like golf balls, t-shirts, barbecue sets and other novelty items? As the government has a monopoly on most services it provides it doesn’t need to spend money on those promo items the same way businesses do. If you want to see the bills for yourself, visit the Canadian Taxpayers Federation’s website for details.
Did you know the government subsidizes the sale of Sprite, Smarties and Snickers? Try saying that combo five times fast then do a Google search for stories from 2013 about government-run cafeterias in hospitals (for the public and staff) losing over $2 million each year selling snacks to the public. At the very least, hospital cafeterias shouldn’t lose money.
Speaking of wasteful spending in hospitals, did you know the government spent $37,000 on a rooftop patio for its new Winnipeg Regional Health Authority building on Main Street? How did the public hear about the story? A government employee blew the whistle. How many other rooftop patios does the government own?
Another classic is the story of Jack Dalgliesh. When the government’s Crocus Investment fund debacle was unfolding, Dalgliesh was a government employee who tried to raise alarm bells about the fund’s problems. Instead of listening to Dalgliesh, the government punished him, putting the $90,000 per year employee in a room to do nothing for four years. After retiring, Dalgliesh blew the whistle on what happened and released a list of 156 novels he read on the job.
If these examples sound like small potatoes, here’s an enormous one. The Frontier Centre for Public Policy calculated that merely reducing Manitoba’s bloated bureaucracy (municipal and provincial) down to the national average could save around $2 billion annually. That’s enough to eliminate school taxes, cut the PST to 7 per cent and pay down some debt.
Just think, here we are at the end of the column and I didn’t even talk about wasteful government ads, lavish severance packages and dozens of other examples.
Hopefully it’s abundantly clear, the Selinger government is anything but good with your money.
Colin Craig works for the Manning Centre and is the author of The Government Wears Prada. Twitter: @colincraig1
This column ran in the February 20 edition of the Winnipeg Sun