EDMONTON, AB (March 18, 2013): At 5 p.m. today, Wildrose Finance Critic Rob Anderson will present a motion to the Legislative Assembly that will urge the government to introduce legislation that would implement the key elements of the Wildrose Balanced Budget and Savings Act proposed during last year’s election.
The legislation would cap annual government spending increases to the rate of population growth plus inflation, would mandate balanced budgets by prohibiting the government from introducing a budget that runs a cash deficit, would allocate 50% of all future cash surpluses to the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund and ensure that annual interest would stay in the Fund to accumulate instead of being spent. “Albertans work hard, pay their taxes and live within their means and they expect their government to do the same,” Anderson said. “This proposal would ensure government can deliver on priorities, sustain important core programs and services and secure a debt-free future for our children and grandchildren.” The Back-in-Debt Budget of 2013 introduced by the PC government completely drains the Sustainability Fund and puts Alberta on a path of $17 billion of new debt by the next election. The Wildrose recently presented the Wildrose Financial Recovery Plan that would create $2.5 billion dollars in savings this year, return Alberta back to cash surplus by 2014 and would begin replenishing the Heritage Savings Trust Fund for future generations. “If the PCs just restrained spending to the rate of inflation and population growth as late as 2007, Alberta would not be stuck in a state of permanent deficits,” Wildrose Official Opposition Leader Danielle Smith said. “In fact, if the government had followed this rule, it would have run consecutive surpluses. The Back-in-Debt budget shows the result of a government that fails to prioritize and makes promises it does not intend to keep.” At 7 p.m. this evening, Anderson will also debate the budget with Finance Minister and Treasury Board President Doug Horner during Treasury Board estimates, in Committee Room A in the Legislature Annex. It will be streamed live online on the Legislature Assembly website.