EDMONTON, AB (September 6, 2012): Today, Wildrose Finance Critic Rob Anderson blasted the government for its ballooning deficit and failing to take action to replenish Alberta’s neglected Heritage Trust Fund. Last week’s first quarter fiscal update showed a forecasted $3 billion deficit for the year alongside a decline in the value in the Heritage Fund by 0.2 per cent to $15.9 billion – a $200 million drop.
Adjusted for inflation, the Heritage Fund is worth less today than it was when it was first created in 1976. “This PC government’s fiscal mismanagement and incompetence continues to risk the core programs that are important to hard working Alberta families and drain the savings for future generations of Albertans with wasteful spending on things like corporate welfare and patronage for PC insiders,” Anderson said. “We need to hit the brakes on the out of control spending so we can end Alberta’s reliance on energy revenues and ensure the sustainability of core social programs that Albertans rely on.” The Wildrose Official Opposition believes the government should cap spending to inflation plus population growth, balance the budget and invest 50% of future surpluses directly into the Heritage Fund. Anderson went on to criticize Premier Alison Redford for continuing to ignore the dismal state of the province’s finances and savings. “It’s insulting that this government has not put forward a concrete plan for the province’s future; instead, the government can’t differentiate between wants and needs and continues to spend on lavish travel and perks for MLAs and corporate handouts which don’t reflect the priorities of everyday Albertans,” Anderson said. “We called the last budget an ‘Alison in Wonderland’ budget and last week, Albertans saw just how much of a fantasy it was. Our province needs a plan to manage our finances, get us off the roller coaster of volatile resource revenues and save for future generations.”