EDMONTON, AB (March 11, 2013): The 2013 Back-in-Debt Budget commits Alberta to a $17 billion debt load by 2016. But where is the PC government’s plan to repay it? The budget contains no information on how the debt will be structured or a debt repayment schedule.
Indeed, the proposed Bill 12 (Fiscal Management Act) absolves the government from ever having to disclose an annual debt repayment schedule in future budgets. By repealing the Government Accountability Act, Bill 12 eliminates the requirement that: (3) A consolidated fiscal plan must include the amounts by which the accumulated debt is projected to be reduced for each fiscal year set out in the plan. Budget 2013’s only commitment to debt servicing is a three-year high of $205 million in 2016. With no further details in the budget, and none forthcoming in future budgets, we can only assume $205 million is the maximum amount the PC government plans to spend on paying down the debt each year. At that rate, assuming no further debt is incurred after 2016, it would take 83 years to pay down the $17 billion debt load, taking us to 2097. By that time, taxpayers would have forked out an additional $25 billion in debt servicing costs. Here is a breakdown: