During last night's Leaders' Debate, NDP Leader Cam Broten was once again unable to explain why he failed to account for his $595 million utility bundle spending promise in his platform - a mistake that would plunge Saskatchewan's budget into permanent deficits.
During the debate, Premier Brad Wall challenged Broten to explain or acknowledge the mistake.
"Mr. Broten has made a massive blunder in his platform by making a $595 million promise and then failing to account for that cost," Wall said. "It means his platform numbers don't add up and it means a deficit budget every year if the NDP is elected."
Broten's explanation for the glaring omission keeps changing but his initial explanation was that he didn't have to include this $595 million cost because it was in the Crowns.
"This shows an astonishing lack of understanding of how the provincial budget works," Wall said. "I know that used to be an old NDP accounting trick - hiding costs in the Crowns. But our government took the Provincial Auditor's advice and changed the budget so that everything now has to be counted, including the Crowns.
"Mr. Broten either didn't know that or he did know it and was trying to hide this cost anyway because he knew he numbers didn't add up."
Wall noted that even Dwain Lingenfelter accounted for the cost of this promise in his 2011 NDP election platform.
"The NDP make this tired old promise every election so you would think they would know how to properly account for it by now. Dwain Lingenfelter even counted it, but not Cam Broten.
"Mr. Broten needs to just own up to this and admit he made a big mistake in his platform. He knows he has to include this cost and he's not being honest with Saskatchewan voters."
During the debate, Wall also noted that Broten had 17 other promises in his platform that are not costed. Broten provided no explanation for those either.
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