March 16, 2017

NDP budget a debt-fueled disaster for families with more of the same failed policies

The NDP budget is a debt-fueled disaster packed with higher taxes and more of the same economic policies that will cost families and hurt Alberta’s prosperity for generations to come, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.

The budget is a balance sheet meltdown and mortgages Alberta’s future as it racks up a $71 billion debt by 2019-20 that will cost Albertans $2.3 billion in annual interest payments. Those interest payments are taxpayers’ money that will go straight to the banks and not towards hospitals, schools, teachers or nurses. By 2019-20, it will cost $16,049 for every Albertan to pay their share of the debt. Borrowing this year is nearly one quarter of the total budget.
 
Less than a year and half since the NDP legislated a “debt-ceiling” of 15 per cent of GDP, Alberta’s debt-to-GDP ratio is forecast to shatter 20 per cent.  
 
NDP government policies in 2016 led to a 3.1 per cent drop in annual household income as unemployment will remain over 8 per cent for 2017.
 
“This is an NDP budget fantasy stuffed with more of the same economic experiments that have failed Alberta for two years straight. The NDP remain completely out-of-touch with life for real Albertans who are suffering today,” Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said. “81,000 full-time jobs have vanished since the NDP took power, but they’re doubling down on a high tax, high-debt agenda that will cost families thousands of dollars every year and suffocate our economy’s ability to create the jobs it's capable of.”
 
 “The NDP government is passing the bill onto our children to pay for a spending-bender that will leave us with $71 billion of debt before the next election,” Wildrose Shadow Minister of Finance Derek Fildebrandt said. “This neglect of even basic fiscal controls and recklessness with borrowed money will take generations to recover from.”
 
The NDP budget hits families with a 50 per cent increase on the carbon tax. The carbon tax is now more than 50 per cent of the total projected cost of natural gas in 2017. Prices at the pumps have increased by nearly 100 per cent since March 2015 and 50 per cent since the NDP government took power.
 
The deficit rings in at $10.3 billion with a $35.5 billion drop in Alberta’s net financial assets in just three years. Alberta’s contingency account is set to evaporate next year. Despite the NDP promising that hiking personal and business taxes would increase revenues, both are set to drop significantly compared to projections from last year’s budget.
 
Spending skyrockets in this year’s budget by over $3.7 billion, part of a 18.5 per cent increase from 2015-2019 that will cost Albertans $9 billion.
 
The budget contains no plan or timeline for returning to a balanced budget, contains no significant spending reductions, and doubles down on wasteful spending like the $1 billion job-killing coal shut down and handing out billions of dollars through the carbon tax green-slush fund.
 
Key Numbers (Spending and borrowing):

  • $10.3 billion - projected deficit
  • $35.5 billion - projected drop in net financial assets over the next 3 years
  • $71 billion – projected debt by 2019-20 with a $51.1 billion increase in the debt since 2015
  • $2.3 billion – the cost for annual interest payments to service Alberta’s debt in 2019-20
  • $9 billion – the spending increase under the NDP government over four years ($48.9 billion to $58 billion)

Key Numbers (Costs to families):

  • $2,500 – the cost of the carbon tax when fully implemented under the NDP carbon tax
  • $16,049 – the cost of the debt for every man, woman and child in Alberta
  • 33% - the cost of the increase of the carbon tax this year alone
  • 50% - The cost of the carbon tax on natural gas prices
  • 8% - Alberta’s unemployment rate for 2017
  • 3.5% - The drop in household income under NDP government policies in 2016
     

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