PEI's growing debt a ticking time bomb: CFIB

    CHARLOTTETOWN, Oct. 8 /CNW/ - Starting today, Islanders will be able to
watch the provincial debt grow as the Canadian Federation of Independent
Business (CFIB) unveiled the PEI Debt Clock.
    "Our debt's a ticking time bomb," said Erin McGrath-Gaudet, CFIB's PEI
Policy Analyst, "it's growing every second of every day and with every 'tick'
it's taking away opportunities for the future."
    CFIB and its 1,100 Island members have long been calling on government to
balance its books, highlighting that PEI remains the only province to run
deficits. Most provinces even require balanced budgets by law.
    "There's a reason every other province has rejected deficit spending: it
simply isn't sustainable," McGrath-Gaudet said, "the clock serves as a
reminder of this."
    McGrath-Gaudet pointed out that the shortfall in government finances is
not from a lack of revenue. Government revenues have consistently been growing
much faster than inflation. The problem, she said, is that government spending
is outpacing any growth. If this trend continues, government will never be in
a position to balance its books.
    CFIB is calling on government to balance its books and put in place
balanced budget legislation to ensure the province puts an end to its nasty
deficit-spending habit.
    "We hope this clock will serve as a reminder to us all that deficits are
not just a budget-day issue," McGrath-Gaudet said, "in fact, our debt grows by
more than $1million every week."
    "It's time we stopped the clock.
    And the solution is relatively simple and painless. CFIB said that just
by limiting future spending increases to inflation, government would be able
to balance its books within two years.
    "Of course, it could do it sooner, if it wanted," McGrath-Gaudet said.
    The PEI Debt Clock can be viewed at
    In the time it took you to read this release, PEI's debt increased by

    CFIB is Canada's largest association of small- and medium-sized
businesses. Encouraging the development of good public policy at the federal,
provincial and municipal levels, CFIB represents more than 105,000 business
owners, who collectively employ 1.25 million Canadians and account for $75
billion in GDP.  CFIB has 1,100 members in Prince Edward Island.

For further information:

For further information: Erin McGrath-Gaudet at (902) 620-4914

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