NS: Clement downplays civil service cuts

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Metro Halifax

Treasury Board President says, "There's a lot of scaremongering going on."

Federal Minister of Industry Tony Clement, right, and his chief of staff Bill King. Greg McNeil photo, Cape Breton Post.

[Halifax, NS] – Treasury Board President Tony Clement hopes you're patient enough to wait for next week's federal budget before worrying about cuts to the civil service.

Clement, speaking to the Halifax Chamber of Commerce Thursday, says he can't comment on the austerity measures included in Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's 2012-13 budget.

"What I can say is this: There's a lot of scaremongering going on, a lot (of) people that seem to delight in having people worry about cuts that, in many cases, will never happen," the Conservative MP told reporters.

"I think the best advice I can give to families who have a public servant in their midst is just wait for the budget... We do have to spend within our means, but we're going to have a fair and reasonable plan to get there."

When asked directly whether the rumoured number of job cuts in the Atlantic region – 5,400 – was reasonable, Clement says he won't comment on speculative numbers.

"It's not based on fact, they don't have facts, so they just throw a number out there and then you see people getting scared," Clement says.

 

Organizations: Halifax Chamber of Commerce

Geographic location: Atlantic

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