Alberta Energy Dividend to assist seniors with rising cost of living April 3, 2012 (Leduc, AB): Today, Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith explained how the Alberta Energy Dividend will help alleviate financial burdens Alberta seniors face after years of chronic neglect and mismanagement from the PC government.
The Alberta Energy Dividend, the third item in the Wildrose Pledge, would send 20% of budget surpluses directly to Albertans. The dividend would help Alberta seniors manage their household budgets and the rising cost of living. “I have traveled across the province and have heard from Alberta seniors directly. Over and over again they spoke of the difficulties of living on a fixed income and the rising cost of living - not to mention the additional financial burdens the PCs have hit them with over the years,” noted Smith. “Whether it’s property taxes or power bills, the Alberta Energy Dividend will help seniors make ends meet and make life more affordable for them.” Time and time again, the PCs have hit Alberta seniors with increased premiums and taxes, increased wait times for important medical procedures, and reckless spending on inadequate levels of care. The PC record on seniors’ care includes:
- Increased premiums on prescription drugs.
- Mismanaged provincial health care by spending tax dollars on the wrong things:
- Constructing new health facilities with no staff to work in them, rather than much needed long-term health care facilities with appropriate caregivers.
- Wait times for important surgeries are longer than ever - despite record levels of spending.
- Reneging on the promise for a full inquiry into bullying in the health care system.
- Increasing taxes -- the recently passed provincial budget sneakily increases a portion of provincial taxes that are paid through the municipality.
“In Alberta, seniors get hit particularly hard when the oil patch is humming, as it is starting to again today. If you’re young and working, it creates jobs and opportunities, and boosts wages. But if you’re retired, it can be a pain in the pocketbook,” Smith said. “The people who laid the foundations for our economic success should not be burdened by it during their well-earned retirement years. On the contrary, they deserve to benefit from it. That’s what the Alberta Energy Dividend will help with.”