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Making things worse: NDP budget punishes families with new carbon tax, record deficit and dangerous new debt

The NDP government’s budget is making things worse by slamming families with $58 billion of debt that will mean $2,000 per family for interest payments, and a punishing new carbon tax that unfairly targets working families for another $1,000 per year, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.

“The NDP plan will hit families hard this year with a worsening economy, a punishing new carbon tax and dangerous new levels of borrowing,” Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said. “There is no effort to reduce spending, while an irresponsible carbon tax and unprecedented levels of government debt will hit Albertans’ pocket books hard. Albertans were hoping for an end to risky NDP experiments, a real plan on jobs and a vision to get our budget back to balance, but instead this NDP government is only making things worse.”

Highlights of the budget include:

Impact on families:

  • A new $9.6 billion carbon tax, with more than three quarters going to new government spending;
  • A carbon tax that hits the typical family with a $1,000 hike in annual taxes and costs;
  • A single Albertan making over $50,000 will get $0 in any carbon tax rebate;
  • Rebate program fails to acknowledge rising electricity costs or rising costs to consumer goods;
  • $2 billion in annual interest payments by 2019 - a cost of $2,000 to the average household;
  • No realistic transition plan for communities being hit hard by carbon tax and coal shutdown;
  • New fee increases for museums; and,
  • Higher unemployment and declining wages.

Dangerous Spending:

  • The budget breaks the NDP’s legal borrowing limit, passed just five months ago, with no new cap on borrowing in this budget;
  • $6.5 billion in new government spending over three years - a 13 per cent increase;
  • $14 billion consolidated deficit in terms of net financial assets;
  • $58 billion in total government debt by 2019;
  • A bureaucrat hiring spree with 247 new hires;
  • Hiding the true spending increase by dropping the forecast for wildfires and natural disasters by $400 million.

Wildrose Shadow Finance Minister Derek Fildebrandt said today’s NDP budget, with dangerous new levels of debt, is a reckless fiscal plan that leaves Alberta’s fiscal future hanging on the edge of a cliff.

“The NDP are increasing the size of government with over $6.5 billion in irresponsible new spending, imposing in the largest tax increase in Alberta’s history and putting Alberta on the edge of a debt cliff,” Fildebrandt said. “The NDP has no real job plans except to hire more bureaucrats, and are slamming families with a massive new carbon tax to funnel the money into new risky new spending schemes. The NDP have smashed through their own 15 per cent debt-ceiling in just a few short months and are steering our finances towards a cliff.”