Chamber executive not surprised with non-descript budget

Staff ~ The Amherst Daily News
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AMHERST - The New Democrats' first budget really didn't have any surprises, says the spokesperson for the Amherst and Area Chamber of Commerce.
At first glance, Robert Bird said the NDP budget is just a continuation of the Conservative budget brought down in the spring prior to the provincial election that ended a decade of Tory rule in Nova Scotia.
"I'd have to say it was very non-descript with very few surprises, if any," Bird said.
"If anything, I thought I would have seen them address the excesses in expenditures and some cost reduction strategies other than a freeze on the salaries of a few bureaucrats."
Finance Minister Graham Steele tabled the 2009-10 budget at Province House on Thursday, confirming one of the new government's worst secrets, a deficit of $592.1 million.
The budget projects the province's net debt will rise to $13.5 billion.
From an ordinary consumer's point of view, Bird said the budget is a bunch of little things that don't really add up to much. However, he pointed out that increasing the basic tax exemption for Nova Scotians will be beneficial in putting a few dollars in people's pockets.
"The rest of the stuff adds up to much ado about nothing," he said.

Organizations: Area Chamber of Commerce, NDP, Tory Province House

Geographic location: Nova Scotia

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