EDMONTON, AB (April 22, 2013): Today, the Official Opposition is inviting all PC MLAs to pass Wildrose amendments that would reduce spending in corporate welfare, government bureaucracy and in government offices to ensure stable funding for the front lines.
The vote on all amendments will be taking place at 9:30 p.m. seeking tens of millions of immediate spending reductions. Amendments to increase spending to any core front line services in the budget are not permitted under the Legislature rules. “Instead of taking a common sense approach to get Alberta back into balanced budgets, this government has recklessly made cuts that directly impact the front-lines without looking to trim the fat in their own offices, in a wasteful bureaucracy or with the hundreds of millions spent on corporate welfare,” Wildrose House Leader Rob Anderson said. “Many of the amendments that the Wildrose is putting forward are responsible, and given that the government is still $5.5 billion in deficit, necessary.” Highlights of the amendments include:
- Amendment to cut the Advanced Education department and minister’s office by 10%, approximately the same amount the PC government has reduced funding to post-secondary institutions.
- Amendments include a total of $3,622,000 in cuts to Minister and Deputy Minister’s offices
- Amendment to cut biofuel initiatives in Energy by $32 million
- Amendment to cut the Public Affairs Bureau by $10 million
- Amendment to cut the $266,000 under Treasury Board and Finance to eliminate the Associate Minister of Finance’s office.
- Amendment to cut $548,000 under Health to eliminate the Associate Minister of Wellness’ office instead of cuts to front line services or staff.
- Amendment to cut $120,000 under Agriculture and Rural Development for Policy, Strategy and Intergovernmental Affairs, roughly the salary for failed PC Cabinet Minister, Evan Berger, whose department, incidentally, is one of the only parts of agriculture to receive an increase.
“We hope that all PC MLAs, along with our colleagues in the opposition will accept these recommendations,” Anderson said. “This is about showing Albertans that we are willing to cut at the top before asking them to take any cuts on the front-lines.” The Wildrose Financial Recovery Plan, released in March, outlines how the Wildrose would reduce government spending by a further $2.9 billion this year alone and return Alberta to a cash surplus by 2014.