Blaine Higgs’ approach to carbon pricing could see the province face a shortfall of over $380 million which he would likely offset by deep cuts in education and healthcare if his record is any indication.
“Because he has no plan, Blaine Higgs invites a federally-imposed carbon tax. He says he will offset with tax reductions which would total over $380 million,” said Liberal spokesperson Greg Byrne.
“The Higgs plan will see New Brunswickers pay out of pocket or jeopardize health and education. Our plan costs New Brunswickers nothing and allows us to maintain and improve those services.”
The Higgs approach to accept a federally imposed backstop would cost New Brunswickers, by Higgs’ own estimate, $1,200 per household.Statistics Canada indicates there are 319,773 occupied private dwellings in the province, meaning a cost of $384 million under the Higgs plan.
When Higgs was finance minister, he told the legislature that schools, hospitals and roads would all be targeted as a means to balance the books.
“When you look at the situation we have in the province with declining enrolment in our schools and the number of schools we have, if you look at the number hospitals we have for a province our size, you look at the roads we maintain for a province our size – we have to look at serious changes in how we do business,” Higgs said at the time.
Under the Liberal plan, the provincial government will implement a climate change plan that meets the federal requirements without consumers paying one extra penny. Under the Higgs Conservative plan, either people will pay $1,200 per household more or have deep cuts of nearly $400 million in services like education and health care.
“Blaine Higgs has refused to disclose his planned cuts to the media, going so far as to say ‘you’d love for me to tell you that,'” said Byrne. “New Brunswick can’t afford Blaine Higgs’ plan to slash public services even deeper than he did four years ago.”