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Annual report shows rough financial waters ahead: Fildebrandt

CALGARY, AB (June 30, 2015): Today’s annual report released by the government shows the NDP fully committed to using the same bad accounting practices used by former PC governments and paints a troubling financial picture for Alberta going forward, Wildrose Shadow Finance Minister Derek Fildebrandt said.

“Despite the NDP running on a campaign pledge of more openness and transparency, today’s announcement seeks to keep muddying the waters by failing to clearly and accurately report the true nature of Alberta’s deficit,” Fildebrandt said. “We know this budget wasn’t the NDP budget, but with Alberta facing a massive deficit for the coming year, Albertans deserve a clearer picture of the budget process going forward.”

The total revenues from the 2014-15 budget are just shy of Alberta’s all time record high. Despite years of record revenues, Alberta has seen its net financial assets drop $20 billion over eight consecutive years.

Alberta budget facts:

  •           Not using PC accounting practices, which exclude $3.4b in capital, the real cash deficit is $1.35 billion for 2014-15
  •           The province borrowed $3.22 billion in 2014-15, bringing debt to roughly $12 billion.
  •           While $1.7 billion was put in the Contingency Account, $1.6 billion in revenue was taken out of the Heritage Fund
  •           Alberta is still on pace to surpass $30 billion in debt by 2019
  •          Alberta paid $781 million to finance interest on debt in 2014-15

The NDP recently passed an $18 billion mini-budget, but failed to give Albertans the full fiscal picture on expected revenues, expenses and borrowing for the next financial year.

Fildebrandt said with the NDP showing no commitment to bring in real fiscal constraint, Albertans can continue to expect the red ink to pile up over the next four years.

“When you collect record revenues and still have to take out billions in debt, the real problem is overspending,” Fildebrandt said. “The NDP plan of raising spending faster than they can raise taxes just isn’t sustainable. We need real fiscal restraint that shrinks the size of government and focuses on core government services.”