A plan by the NDP Opposition would see a potential $250 million added to provincial coffers, all targeted to easing the financial burden on Saskatchewan residents.
Opposition Leader Ryan Meili and Finance Critic Trent Wotherspoon have proposed a windfall profit resource surcharge to deliver a cost-of-living dividend to address the affordability crisis, allowing Saskatchewan people to share in windfall non-renewable resource profits amid what it calls 31-year high inflationary pressures. The pair made the announce in the Legislature on May 2.
“Budgets are about choices. In this last budget, the Sask. Party chose to hit Saskatchewan people with more taxes and higher utility fees at a time when they should be working with municipal and federal governments to address the affordability crisis,” said Meili.
The Opposition is calling on the Government to share the wealth with a Windfall Profits Surcharge by adding 1 percent to the provincial resource surcharge when WTI oil prices exceed $90 US per barrel and/or when potash prices exceed $700CDN per K20 tonne.
The plan is to see the government remove any PST increase, and instead return $125 million to eligible residents via cost of living dividends. Any revenue generated beyond that would be invested in the health care system and in a fund to provide energy efficiency building retrofits. The Opposition states that those projects would provide for renewable energy options for homes, businesses and farms. The plan would create jobs, moderate energy costs and reduce emissions. While world events have triggered a rebound in the resource sector, the NDP wants to see those benefits play into a better quality of life, notes their press release.
“We face an extraordinary situation. As a result of the unforgivable invasion of Ukraine, already strong profits in our resource sector have been sent soaring. Meanwhile, the owners of those resources, the people of Saskatchewan, are being squeezed every which way by affordability pressures,” said Wotherspoon. “A modest windfall profits surcharge will continue to ensure the success and profitability of our critically important energy and potash sectors while providing much-needed relief to Saskatchewan people and leaving a lasting legacy. These resources belong to the people of Saskatchewan.”