The NDP government’s 2015-16 annual report shows a government with no plan for fiscal restraint, only policies that continue to hurt the economy, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.
The annual report showed an even higher than expected deficit after the NDP brought in billions of dollars in new government spending and introduced a series of new tax increases and regulatory burdens that made a bad situation even worse. Alberta saw a $9.2 billion plunge in net financial assets alone as shown on page 19.
“Instead of taking the side of families and their concerns seriously, the NDP government plowed forward with an agenda that is now leading to further job losses, less opportunity and higher taxes,” Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said. “Growing interest payments just to service the debt means less money going to hospitals, schools, teachers and nurses for the long-term. It’s time the government begins to listen to Wildrose ideas and be on the side of policies that encourage growth and protect working families.”
The report shows that at the end of the 2015-16 fiscal year, Alberta is now $19.5 billion in debt and paid $776 million in debt servicing charges.
Wildrose presented several amendments last June and during budget debate to limit the impact of tax increases, reduce spending and put together an action plan to reduce further credit downgrades.
The NDP government voted down the amendments. Alberta has experienced four credit downgrades since the 2015-16 budget was passed.
“The NDP refused to accept most of the Wildrose's recommendations to improve our finances, and it's made us poorer as a province," Wildrose Shadow Finance Minister Derek Fildebrandt said. “No government has ever successfully taxed and borrowed its way to a balanced budget, but the NDP are trying. We cannot delay getting serious about the budget any longer."