New poll shows public wants a plan to restructure government program and service delivery to be affordable

The vast majority of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians (85%) say it is important to them personally that government develop a plan to restructure and modernize government services to be affordable and sustainable. Only 4% feel this is not important. This according to public opinion polling conducted by Narrative Research from January 6-19, 2021.

77% of NL residents believe the government should make changes to program and service delivery to reduce spending, rather than increase taxes to maintain spending on programs and services at the current level (11%) or continue to borrow to maintain spending on programs services (8%).

Residents were asked to indicate their level of support for several government actions considering the province’s difficult financial situation, on a scale of 1-10, where 1 is completely oppose and 10 is completely support:

  • 68% support restructuring delivery of government services so there is no duplication within one hour drive. Only 9% oppose. (7.6 times more support than opposition.)
  • 68% support allowing for more publicly funded, privately run health clinics and diagnostic testing centres, at no extra costs to citizens. Only 18% oppose. (3.8x more support than opposition.)
  • 61% support reducing the size of the public sector by not replacing employees as they retire (attrition). Only 17% oppose. (3.6x more support than opposition).
  • 57% support reorganizing the public sector to match current needs and population distribution, which may involve layoffs or relocation of staff. Only 20% oppose. (2.9x more support than opposition.)
  • 56% support amalgamating schools in neighbouring communities. Only 21% oppose. (2.7x more support than opposition.)

“This polling shows clearly that the public wants election candidates to discuss their plans to restructure and modernize government services. Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are ready for whoever wins this election to take action to fix our spending problem,” said NL Employers’ Council Executive Director, Richard Alexander. “The public wants a credible and well thought out plan that considers all options. We hope these results encourage political leaders to address this important issue.”

“Findings suggest that the public recognizes the seriousness of the province’s financial situation and supports decisive action to make change,” said Margaret Brigley, CEO & Partner of Narrative Research. “There is a clear desire for the development of a modernized government service delivery model.”

The survey randomly sampled 400 adults 18+ across Newfoundland and Labrador. Overall results are accurate to within ±4.9 percentage points, 95 out of 100 times.

View graphs here.