Finance Minister Joe Ceci’s announcement of delaying balancing the budget until 2020 leads to questions of whether the NDP will ever balance the books, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.
“This is the NDP breaking their single most important campaign promise of balancing the budget before the end of their mandate,” Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said. “Thousands of Albertans are taking a hard look at their spending during the economic downturn, and the NDP need to do the same. We have doubts that the NDP is serious about balancing the budget.”
Alberta’s deficit is steadily climbing, with current projections of around $6 billion, the largest in Alberta’s history. The cost of government in Alberta currently is about $8 billion more expensive per-capita than in British Columbia.
“During the election campaign the NDP first claimed they would balance the budget by 2017. Then they realized their math was wrong and they revised their target to 2018. Now it has become 2019,” Wildrose Shadow Minister Derek Fildebrandt said. “This government is not demonstrating the resolve and leadership needed to balance expenditures and revenues.”
Fildebrandt said the timing of the NDP government’s announcement had little to do with serving the best interests of Albertans.
“It shows what Albertans have known for months – all bad news was being postponed in a failed attempt to prop up the federal NDP,” Fildebrandt said. “The only thing that we know today that we didn't know three months ago - or one week ago - is that Tom Mulcair won't be Prime Minister. Delaying the budget and this announcement was meant to serve Mulcair's interests, not Albertans’.”