Budget 2012: Alison in Wonderland

EDMONTON, AB (February 9, 2012): Premier Alison Redford’s budget for 2012 relies on pipedream projections of sky high revenues and a red hot economy to bail them out of a financial train wreck, the Wildrose Caucus said today. 

Alberta’s fifth straight deficit budget shows the Redford Government projecting a $3.1 billion cash shortfall despite record revenue projections including oil price of $100 a barrel.  The Government plans to increase program spending by 7.6% – almost double the rate of inflation plus population growth. 

“This is an Alison in Wonderland budget,” Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith said. “Ms. Redford’s revenue projections are nothing short of fiction and given the world debt crisis, incredibly irresponsible.” 

Budget 2012’s unrealistically high revenue projections include: 

•   An overall 22.5% increase in revenues over the next 2 years

•   A 40% increase in resource revenues over the next 2 years

•   An increase of 6.5% in property values and property tax revenues to the budget

•   A 9% increase in income tax revenues this year

•   An 11% corporate tax revenue increase this year

•   Projecting the average oil price at $105 next year and $108 the year after

•   Projecting the natural gas price at $3.50 this year, $4.20 the year after, and $5.00 the year after that 

Wildrose Finance Critic Rob Anderson said Premier Redford is being completely unrealistic in her projections and is risking the economic health of the province with her new budget. 

“Alison Redford is putting Alberta’s economic health on the edge of a knife relying on outrageously optimistic projections,” Anderson said. “If oil were to dip to even $70 a barrel our provincial balance sheet would implode, our savings fund would completely evaporate, and we would be forced to take on unprecedented levels of debt.” 

The budget also repeated the government’s promise to make a “foundational change” to our taxation framework laying the groundwork for a post-election tax hike on Alberta families and businesses should the PCs be re-elected. 

“This government is poised to raise taxes and we know they aren’t going to say which ones or by how much until after the election,” Smith said.  “Albertans can be assured the Wildrose is the only party that stands squarely against any new or increased taxes. It’s time to start thinking about our children’s future and get our spending under control.” 

The Wildrose Caucus stands for free enterprise, less government, increased personal freedom and democracy.