EDMONTON, AB (January 9, 2014): The Alberta Debt Clock released by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) confirms the PC government is throwing away the Alberta Advantage as they saddle taxpayers with more than $17 billion in debt before the next election, Wildrose Finance Critic Rob Anderson said today. Despite Premier Alison Redford insisting Alberta finances are in good shape, the CTF calculations show Alberta’s debt sits at $7.7 billion, with the provincial government picking up $4 billion of debt this year alone.
“This government would want you to believe that it has turned a corner on its finances, but the ballooning debt shows that claim could not be further from the truth,” Anderson said. "Ms. Redford campaigned aggressively on not returning Alberta to debt, but immediately after the votes were cast set us on the road to $17 billion in debt by 2016. Her integrity and competence on this issue is entirely compromised.” The government’s Fiscal Management Act passed in 2013 obliterated fiscal transparency by dividing spending into operational and capital expenses, eliminating the definition of “accumulated deficit” and giving the government a $40 billion debt ceiling. The Auditor General has criticized the government for complicating and obscuring its fiscal reporting. “As the numbers continue to climb on Alberta’s debt clock, it’s a reminder how far Redford has dragged us down the painful path of debt,” Anderson said. “It took a generation to pay off former Premier Don Getty’s debt and it will take new leadership to recover from the incompetence and waste of this PC government.” Instead of sacrificing priority front-line services in order to finance misguided priorities like partisan political campaigns, corporate welfare and pay and perks for political appointees and executives, the Wildrose will respect tax dollars, eliminate waste and mismanagement and focus on delivering good public services.