BURNABY, BC, Feb. 19, 2013 /CNW/ - The Liberal government's supposedly
balanced budget will come at a high cost to public sector workers and
the people and businesses that rely on quality public services.
"After a decade of budget and staffing cuts, extending the hiring freeze
will lead to the loss of another 1,350 public sector jobs and most
ministries are facing budget cuts or small increases well below the
rate of inflation," says Darryl Walker BCGEU president.
"Our justice system and Community Living BC are both in crisis. Neither
are getting the meaningful budget increases they desperately need.
Community and social service workers are the lowest paid workers in our
health care system. They will see no increase. The Ministry of Children
and Family Development will be unable to adequately serve the most
vulnerable people in our society. These are just a few examples. BCGEU
members know all too well that budget cuts have undermined the delivery
of all public services," says Walker.
Many of these service cuts will also have a direct negative impact on
the economy. The most obvious example is the enormous permit backlog in
our natural resource sector. The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural
Resource Operations is facing a budget cut of almost $40 million, the
biggest single cut in ministry spending. There is no reason to believe
the permit backlog will be cleared. The economic activity and job
creation of our natural resources sector will continue to be
Also troubling is the sell-off of important public assets. The Liberals
plan to sell almost twice as many public assets in the next two years
as they sold off in all of the 2000's. This sell-off comes at a time of
declining land prices and is not the time to sell surplus assets.
The government has also failed to use the carbon tax to create new
revenue. The carbon tax will not be increased, expanded or broadened to
include industrial process emissions. "Reducing B.C. greenhouse gas
emissions is critical to addressing climate change and must be the
responsibility of all of us," says Walker.
SOURCE: B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union
For further information:
Evan Stewart, BCGEU Communications (604) 220-3095.