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Thursday 1 September 2011

By The Numbers

It must be a good time to be on the receiving end of any of the public funding being spent these days. Government has been on a rampage of spending as of late and I have no doubt that many feel that it's long overdue. Maybe 5 or 6 years overdue? Millions and millions of dollars have been announced and re-announced over the past few days, weeks and months. This money is not new and in fact was included in the provincial budget brought down a few months back, but it appears that voters, I mean residents, need reminding just how much the current administration has done for us, with our own money.

Of course with an election coming on October 11th there are cries of electioneering and buying votes, and the requisite denials across the board. Well, not exactly. Certainly the Premier denies any "vote buying" over here, and says it's all within the budget. And never to cross swords with the leader, Minister Kevin O'Brien has been denying the political ties to funding for a while now. But there's at least one member who's not afraid to tell it as it is. Minister King was on Open Line and made no excuses for spending in his district. The story posted on the VOCM website isn't available but the text was as follows:
MHA Makes No Bones About Pre-Election Spending
Aug 9 , 2011

A cabinet minister is unapologetic for the rash of pre-election spending announcements coming from the government. The MHA for Grand Bank, Darin King, announced some money for health care recently. There has been a steady stream of news releases, most announcing money that had already been allocated in the budget, over the past several months.

On VOCM Open Line with Randy Simms, King said he is dedicated to bringing in as much money as he can to his district.
So What more can you say? Well lets let the numbers speak for themselves. The last three days of August in 2010 saw 23 press releases from Government, with 13 of them being related to funding allocations and 10 related to other purposes. If you look back over the last 3 days of August of this year it's a little different. From August 29 to 31 of 2011 the Government issued 53 press releases that included only 7 that were not related to funding. That means that 46 of the 53 were either announcements or advisories for announcements. Compare that 46 in 2011 to the 13 in 2010.

Dunderdale insists that everything is on the level as she says "But telling people how their money is going to be spent, how that offends people given that the money was announced in April, I'm at a loss to understand." Well, I think people will draw their own conclusions and I'm fairly certain that unlike the Premier, most folks will understand it just fine.

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