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Budget decision website blows door wide open to new taxes

EDMONTON, AB (January 30, 2013): The new government budget tool found online is laying the groundwork for Premier  Alison Redford and her PC government to raise taxes on hardworking Alberta families, including a new sales tax, without laying out options for the obvious budget reductions, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.

The budget tool found at lays out options of implementing a 2% or 5% sales tax, a health premium tax and puts corporate and income tax hikes on the table, while failing to list the actual cost reduction of wasteful programs like Carbon Capture and Storage for 2012/13 ($138M), deferring capital costs or taking aim at recent MLA salary pay hikes. “This budget document presents a false choice between painful cuts to several government programs or damaging new taxes for Albertans,” Wildrose Official Opposition Leader Danielle Smith said.  “The simple truth is Alberta has never had a stronger revenue stream and is the envy of every other province in Canada with nearly $8 billion in windfall revenue.  Ms. Redford said she wanted to change the character of Alberta and now it looks like her plan includes chipping away at the Alberta Advantage.” With Premier Redford recently stating that “there’s a place” for discussing a Provincial Sales Tax in Alberta, Wildrose Finance Critic Rob Anderson said that this new website shows that the PC government will go after Albertan’s pocketbooks to pay for their own financial mess. “This budget tool is a complete sham.  Ms. Redford is beginning to make it perfectly clear that she has no intention to get spending under control and now will target Albertans to cover her $6 billion dollar fiscal hole,” Anderson said.  “Where are the options to cut $138 million in carbon capture, the 8% pay hike for MLAs or millions spent on a new 80 seat auditorium attached to new MLA offices?  This is nothing short of another PC spin exercise to try and soften Albertans to implement their tax and spend agenda.”