The deficit has become the political hot potato as the NDP and Saskatchewan Party argue over fiscal situation.
The premier revealed this week the deficit has ballooned to $1.2 billion, in large part to crop insurance claims and falling income tax revenue.
Everything is on the table to get back in the black including wage rollback, cuts and tax increases.
The government committed to plugging the hole in the 2017-18 budget year, but now Brad Wall is suggesting that might not happen.
“You know we’ve seen signs here lately of renewal and do we want to shock the economy at such a time as that also quality of life that comes from public services has to be a consideration,” Wall explained.
“We’re going to deal with it and we’re mindful of not shocking the economy, we’re mindful of the importance of public service but there will be a clear, and a very short-time plan, if not a this-year plan, to get to balance in Saskatchewan.”
While Wall wrestled with those numbers, he is taking criticism from the NDP.
The province cited falling commodity prices and income tax revenues as well as higher than expected crop insurance claims as reasons for the growing deficit.
But NDP leader Trent Wotherspoon contends the premier should have saved more during the boom times and been more aware of the reality of Saskatchewan’s economy.
“The premier has been either willfully ignoring the reality or is completely out of touch on the job front and that should have been identified a long period of time ago,” Wotherspoon argued.
As for fixing the deficit, Wotherspoon had suggestions of what government should do.
“What you don’t do is do the callous, short-sighted cuts that we see from the government in education, healthcare, mental health and more,” he said.
Listeners weighed in throughout Tuesday on the 980 CJME text line.
“How can you be so far out in your forecasting model?” said one listener.
“We are a resource-based economy, we took it on the teeth with declining prices and now we have to roll with it,” said another listener.
The 2017-18 budget is released in late March.