PQ calls budget spending part of a 'cynical cycle'
Published Wednesday, March 28, 2018 4:38PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, March 28, 2018 5:58PM EDT
It was the biggest spending increase of any budget in a decade.
With massive spending in health and education, and more money for major public transit projects, the Liberals say that's just the start.
Opposition parties, though, aren't buying into it.
“The cynical cycle of cuts, then gifts, then cuts again is something that is revolting,” said PQ leader Jean-Francois Lisee in Quebec City Wednesday.
The Liberals built their budget on the backs of Quebecers, he said.
“All across the board, in order to pile up money for gifts during an electoral year, the Liberal government has squeezed and created misery,” he said.
Finance Minister Carlos Leitao said Quebec has come a long way in four years.
“We absolutely needed to put our financial house back in order. Back in 2014 - we always have to go back to the starting point - our finances were not in good shape,” he said.
But they're much better now, he said, thanks to Liberal management and an economy performing better than expected.
The CAQ's criticism of the budget wasn't quite as strong, but party leader Francois Legault argued that Quebecers deserve more tax relief.
His party would do that by slashing school taxes,” he said.
“Regarding the level of expenses, we quite agree with the budget. Where we disagree is with the amount of money that is put back in the pockets of taxpayers,” he said.
Premier Philippe Couillard said Quebecers are reaping the benefits.
“Now we can do even more because the economy is going so well in Quebec. It's going so well that now that we have money to invest in our public services which I think is the priority of people now,” he said.
The Liberals say they've stuck to their financial game plan – and it’s working.
“I look at it as honesty toward the elector, the voter,” said Couillard. “I told them in 2014 this is what I'm going to do. Nobody can say that I didn't do what I told them I would do. And it will be the same for the next term.”
The Quebec election is Oct. 1.