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NDP carbon plan puts a tax on everything, will hurt economic growth

The NDP’s new tax on everything means at least hundreds and possibly thousands of dollars taken away annually from Alberta households during a time of economic uncertainty and job losses, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.

The announcement was made today as part of the NDP’s climate change strategy. The strategy also includes accelerating the shutdown of coal power generation across Alberta communities, another move which will increase costs on all Albertans.

Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said Albertans facing job losses and economic uncertainty will become increasingly anxious after today’s announcement.

“This new carbon tax will make almost every single Alberta family poorer, while accelerated plans to shut down coal plants will lead to higher power prices and further jobs losses,” Jean said. “Wildrose will be looking at every detail of this plan closely, and we will speak out against policies that hurt Albertans and the economy.”

Proof that this will hit Alberta families and businesses hard is in the announcement of an ‘adjustment fund’ to help small businesses cope. This fund will not help middle class Albertans. Unlike British Columbia, which takes its carbon tax and uses it to lower income taxes for all, the vast majority of Albertans and Alberta businesses will only take a hit in this plan.

Jean said the premier’s admission that the adjustment fund could be used to pay down government debt is a clear signal that her carbon tax plan is not revenue neutral. The added costs will make sure the bottom line of every Alberta business will be impacted.

“The NDP’s tax plan is now making the price of everything produced in Alberta more expensive. On top of a pending royalty review, a dramatic 50 per cent increase to the minimum wage, and ever more regulations, this strategy will do nothing for those Albertans suffering from uncertainty and job losses,” Jean said.

Wildrose noted and welcomed the part of the strategy that included a renewed focus on improving energy efficiency and encouraged greater use of low carbon natural gas – two policies which Wildrose has championed.

Wildrose will take time to review the report in its entirety and will have more to say on its overall impact on Alberta families and businesses in the near future.