It's no surprise that the economy is suffering in Saskatchewan, but we are not in a deficit crisis and there is no reason for austerity cuts like asking public sector workers to take wage cuts.
That's according to CUPE senior economist Toby Sanger, who says cutting back is not the answer because if workers make less, they spend less, which means the economy suffers. Instead he suggests following what was done in Canada during the financial crisis in 2008 and 2009, when the federal government spent money to bolster the economy. Sanger says Saskatchewan could achieve a balanced budget in a few years without taking any drastic actions, rather than trying to balance in just one year. That's because he believes the financial situation is slowly recovering. Sanger advocates for diversifying the economy so Saskatchewan isn't so dependent on resource revenue. A few suggestions for increasing revenue are closing tax loopholes, cracking down on tax evasion and the use of tax havens for big business and hiking the top income tax rate to 17.5 per cent. It is estimated that if the public sector employees took wage cuts and other actions, it would save $250-million. The 3.5 per cent decrease for MLAs, ministers and ministerial staff is estimated at a savings of $500-thousand a year, but neither of these figures take into account what these cuts would cost the economy in the long run.