February 24, 2016
NDP remain without realistic plan to fight for jobs, tackle deficit
Today’s third-quarter fiscal update shows an NDP government that remains without a realistic plan to fight for jobs as the consolidated deficit continues to balloon to over $9 billion, borrowing skyrockets and the economy is set to contract 2.6 per cent over two years, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.
“As Albertans have been dealing with job loss and trying to make ends meet, the NDP has been busy creating instability in Alberta’s economy with royalty reviews, a new $3-billion carbon tax, higher personal and business taxes and a planned 50 per cent increase to the minimum wage,” Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said. “These policies are inflaming an already bad situation and hitting the bottom line of both Alberta’s families and its government.”
The government has reduced its projections for personal taxes by $762 million since November’s budget, which is more proof that the NDP’s economic policies are making our economic situation worse for Alberta families. While the rest of the province looks for ways to reduce costs, the NDP’s fiscal plan maintains an operational spending increase of $1.2 billion (2.8 per cent) over the past year.
Wildrose also presented savings suggestions totalling $1.1 billion that would protect front line services in the election campaign, but there is no evidence they have been followed.
“The NDP government should take immediate action to send notice to taxpayers and investors that Alberta’s government will tackle its spending problem and make Alberta a friendly place to invest again,” Jean said. “The NDP has no plan to put together any meaningful solutions to tackle Alberta’s $9 billion cash deficit and ballooning debt. We need to start restoring our competitive advantage, negotiating a public sector wage freeze and shrinking the size and growth of the public sector through attrition.”
Wildrose has previously put forward a series of measures to restore confidence in Alberta’s economy including calling for a jobs summit, initiating an Equalization Fairness Panel, asking the NDP to either slow down or reverse several of their harmful economic policies and proposing Alberta lowers its small business tax rates.
$9.03 billion – Alberta’s consolidated deficit (Change in Net Financial Assets, page 5)
$17.18 billion – Alberta’s capital debt
$779 million – Cost of servicing Alberta’s debt
$1.2 billion – Increase in operational spending over record 2014-15 level
2.6 per cent – 2-year drop in Alberta’s GDP
1.5 per cent – Decline in Alberta’s annual employment forecast