Liberals ‘find’ taxpayer money to spend on pre-election ads despite pleas for restraint: NDP

Mere weeks after the Liberal finance minister said government needed to make spending cuts, the Liberals have gone on an ad-buying spree to save their own political skins, say the New Democrats.

“The finance minister said government revenues will be lower than expected, so British Columbians are being told to tighten their belts, but the Liberals have somehow found enough tax dollars to run pre-election ads six months before the next election campaign,” said New Democrat caucus chair Shane Simpson.

“These ads serve no practical purpose for B.C.,” said Simpson. “They are simply the last line of defence for a desperate government that is out of gas and out of ideas. The premier needs to tell British Columbians how much their spending on their latest ad blitz,” Simpson said, adding the New Democrats have submitted a Freedom of Information request to find out.

Simpson said the disconnect between what they say and what they do is a key reason why the Liberals have lost the trust of British Columbians.
“We are in uncertain economic times and we’re seeing a Liberal government that has badly mismanaged the province’s finances,” said Simpson. “The province’s deficit is growing higher than expected, but the premier’s office has money to spend on these feel-good ads.

“This is the premier who said recently ‘we all say things when we are trying to get elected’ and sadly, that’s how the Liberals are running the province. They’re doing whatever they can to try to get re-elected, and that includes spending money on self-promoting advertising in a time of restraint.

“There are times when it makes sense for government to advertise – educating the public on important public programs, for instance,” said Simpson. “But this latest spending spree has one purpose, and that’s to shore up the Liberals’ sagging political fortunes. By any standard, that’s a waste of valuable taxpayers’ money.”

Adrian Dix and B.C.’s New Democrats believe in prudent public spending on programs and initiatives that serve the needs of British Columbians.