The recent P.E.I. Auditor General's report contained confirmation that the provincial deficit was $2 billion. The report also informed the public that last year's interest charges on that debt was over $116 million ($116,000,000) or nearly $10 million per month.
To put that into perspective for those of us who have owed money over the years, we are aware that payment of the interest on borrowed money takes first place in the monthly spending budget. So this P.E.I. government, before paying the monthly salaries of nurses, teachers, doctors and civil servants, or the recently reduced pensions of provincial retirees, must pay their moneylenders $10,000,000 every month of the year.
Additionally, the province has, on occasion, been borrowing extra money just to meet these commitments: exactly analogous to a family not being able to pay the credit card bill for groceries but buying new groceries on credit also. In other words, we are buying necessities on new credit.
The AG report presents a very dire picture of the province's financial state in other respects as well.
The present Ghiz government and their immediate Binns predecessors are almost wholly responsible for this situation, which I believe was recognized as possible and dealt with for the short-term by the Callbeck government.
Unfortunately, I do not believe our present legislators have the moral fibre necessary to cope with the existing emergency.
Victoria West, P.E.I.