Thursday, November 29, 2012

Why Should We Believe Anything In The '2nd Quarter Budget Update'?


Shorter 2nd Quarterly Report from Mike de Jong and Christy Clark:

Resource, housing and transfer revenues, etc., all down....

Therefore, everything is much, much worse than we predicted/thought/made-up already....

As a result, we have a whole new set of numbers for you now that are really, really, really rock solid....

And these new numbers say that we have to start cutting programs, for reals, to save us all from financial armagideon times...


Sure thing Mr. de Jong and Ms. Clark.

Except folks are already starting to pushback against some of your numbers.

Here is one most interesting bit of this pushback, from Ian Reid:

...DeJong and minions have shuffled the numbers and reduced the forecast allowance for the second time this year, from $200 million to $100 million. The result is that the real projected deficit has grown even more than stated.

The forecast allowance is an amount of money the government sets aside in case things get worse. It’s in addition to contingencies – stuff that comes up that you just have to spend money on or people’s live go to hell, like election ads.

At budget time the actual deficit – prior to the forecast allowance – was expected to be $768 million. Now, it’s projected to be $1,369, million which means the actual projected deficit has grown by $601 million since Christy Clark’s first real budget.

That’s over a $100 million more than the BC Liberals told the media yesterday...


But, here's what I'm really wondering (which is pretty much the same thing as Ian, I think)....

How do we know that they (i.e. de Jong, Clark and minions) meant anything they said yesterday?

For example,  one of the weird tidbits in the feckless Finance Minister's press release is the following sentence:

...The projected (provincial budge) deficit for 2012-13 is $1.47 billion, a $328-million increase from the First Quarterly Report due primarily to the change in the completion date of the sale of the Little Mountain property...

What the heckfire is that 'Little Mountain' insertion all about, I wondered?

So I went looking for the actual 'number'....

And this is what I found in the so-called 'forecast changes' ledgers attached to the actual report (numbers in millions):

Two hundred and ninety-two million underwater in Quarter #2?


Is that just one of the rabbits that will be suddenly pulled out of a hat together with a bunch of suddenly new/unexpected resource and/or magically-projected megacasino revenue numbers that will save us all on, say, Apr 2nd 2013 just as the election campaign kicks into high gear?


Of course, it would be nice if we had a respected, impartial, competent, and decidedly non-feckless group of folks in British Columbia that could tell us what's really going on when it comes to our provincial finances and the job our government is actually doing.

Unfortunately, we do not.

Which is not to say we didn't, up until very recently, have such a group 'round here.

Because we did.

It was called the 'Progress Board' and it was killed by Christy Clark in one of her first meaningful acts of (non) governing after she became Premier.

Here is how the peripatetic Paul Willcocks called that killing back in the Spring of 2011:

...The B.C. Progress Board, (was) killed by Clark last week...

{snippety doo-dah}

...The board (reported out on) out six important areas — economic growth, standard of living, jobs, the environment, health outcomes and social conditions. Then it identified key indicators that could be used to measure how well the province was doing each year, things like exports per capita and birth weights and educational achievement....

{snippety doodle-dandy}

...When Campbell was pushed out, I (Mr. Willcocks) turned to the Progress Board reports to assess his government’s effectiveness over the years.

It was barely average, according to the board. B.C. slide backward in the rankings in more categories than it improved over Campbell’s tenure.

B.C. ranked fourth in economic output per capita in the board’s first report in 2002. It was in the same spot in the 2010 report. It was second in real average wage, also unchanged. Employment improved from fifth to fourth. Productivity ranking fell from fifth to seventh among provinces.

On balance, the economic rankings slipped slightly from the NDP years....


Couldn't have a group of fair, independent-minded folks standing up and saying stuff like that, could we.

So they had to go, right?


Oh, and just in case you've forgotten....The commie-pinko, no good BC Liberal government-hating folks on the Progress Board over the years included the likes of David Emerson and one Mr. James Pattison.

Are you getting my drift on this whole thing now?

The truly ironic thing about this Little Mountain 'business'?..... Literally hundreds of Christy Clark's struggling 'families' that she cares about most were kicked out of there years ago...The thing has been a fallow, tragic mess for, like, forever (ie. since the 'downturn')....


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As a paper delivery boy in the late 40's part of my route took me along the bank of the Fraser River from Fraser St to Main St. The clients lived in float houses and dyke "shacks". One of my 'customers' was an elderly English couple (I also delivered grocery orders to them.) When the Little Mountain housing opened they were moved there, I believe, by the city with help from the Province and the Feds. Affordable housing. Now how the hell does the Province get away with selling off that property? GREED, GREED and more GREED. Follow the money. ps I delivered groceries to Mr. and Mrs. H until graduation from JO.