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Budget 2015: Risky economics, record debt, higher taxes, higher spending

The NDP’s first budget is plagued with risky economic theories, fantasy five year projections, record deficits, more tax increases and will plunge Alberta into the deepest level of debt in its history, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.

The NDP budget comes with a stunning $26.8 billion deficit over the next three years, measured as a total drop in net financial assets. This will bring Alberta to a record $47.4 billion in debt by 2019, and cost $1.3 billion in debt-serving costs by 2017.

“Welcome to the NDP. Pushing forward risky economic theories, raising record levels of taxes and still running the largest deficit in the province’s history,” Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said. “Tax increases are now hitting every Albertan, the cost of government is higher than it’s ever been, and by the time the NDP are done, Alberta will be buried under billions of dollars in interest payments and every individual will have less money in their pockets.”

Interest on the debt will cost as much as the departments of: Aboriginal Affairs, Status of Women, Service Alberta, Seniors, Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour, and the Legislative Assembly of Alberta combined.

“The long decline of the Alberta Advantage continues under this budget,” Wildrose Shadow Minister of Finance Derek Fildebrandt said. “This is a plan to recklessly hike debt, taxes and spending without any plan to pay for it and get back to a balanced budget. Albertans do not need ideological experiments with new corporate welfare bureaucracies and a debt ceiling that will exceed $47 billion, but a common-sense plan to get spending under control, protect jobs and return to fiscal sanity.”

Other highlights of the budget include:

  • $4.8 billion in operation borrowing;

  • $512 million in new corporate welfare bureaucracies;

  • $6.1 billion in new spending;

  • Overly optimistic 26% increase to revenues by 2019;

  • $2.7 billion in new taxes, 80 per cent directed to government sector compensation;

  • Net negative financial assets by 2017, where the debt will outweigh the Heritage Fund; and

  • The projection of a 12th consecutive provincial deficit