Paul Martin's Business Update - March 20th, 2014

Mar 20, 2014, 05:18 PM, Regina, SK, Canada

Paul Martin's Business Update - March 20th, 2014

Whether it is the new accounting format or simply evolution, one thing that became abundantly clear in reviewing yesterday’s budget is that the provincial government’s role is getting narrower and narrower.

Under the new accounting rules, the budget now includes activities of a wider array of agencies including the likes of health authorities and school districts. So, when you add up the spending on health, education and social services…these three functions account for 73 per cent of all government expenditure. Basically, the government is becoming more and more an agent of fund raising for those three functions while all others are declining in importance and clout.

It is interesting that ten or fifteen years ago, a natural reflex or response in this province when something challenging popped up, especially an economic issue, was to go the provincial government for help. We don’t hear that so often any more. Perhaps the only one in recent memory was grain movement. Government, it is clear from the books, is becoming more focused with three-quarters of all expenses directed into only three areas.

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