March 24, 2016
The NDP government breaking their promise to stick to a balanced budget timeline is more bad news for taxpayers and Alberta’s economy, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.
The announcement was made by Finance Minister Joe Ceci after initially promising a path back to balanced budgets by 2019-20.
“Without any timelines or accountability to return to balanced budgets, Alberta is now risking permanent structural deficits,” Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said. “This is bad news for taxpayers, since tens of billions of dollars in new debt eventually means higher taxes and fewer services to pay for rising interest payments.”
Alberta currently spends $2,000 more per-capita than British Columbia on operations, but the NDP government has still indicated there will be billions of dollars in annual increases to government spending.
With recent credit downgrades, Wildrose Shadow Finance Minister Derek Fildebrandt said telling investors that Alberta has no plan to get their fiscal house in order will only further damage confidence in Alberta’s economy.
“The NDP have taken the $6.1 billion deficit they inherited from the previous PC government and have abandoned any pretense whatsoever to be concerned about returning to balance. After running nine consecutive deficits and accumulating an increasingly irresponsible level of debt, our government needs to finally take the deficit seriously,” Fildebrandt said. “Only the Wildrose has put forward real and credible solutions to reasonably reduce expenditures and get Alberta back on a path to balanced budgets.”