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PCs finally admit fiscal crisis, break promise on balancing operational budget

EDMONTON, AB (December 19, 2012): Today’s news that next year’s operating budget will not be balanced – the latest in a string of broken promises on the budget – is proof that PC overspending has reached levels not seen in almost 20 years , the Wildrose Official Opposition said today. 

Earlier today, Finance Minister Doug Horner confirmed what the Wildrose exposed before the spring election – that not only will next year’s consolidated budget not be balanced but the operational budget will also not be balanced. If next year’s operational budget is not balanced, it will mark the first operational deficit in Alberta since 1994. “This government has been all over the map on the upcoming budget but finally we are getting the truth: It’s in shambles and they have no idea what to do about it,” Wildrose Official Opposition Leader Danielle Smith said. “They’ve made billions of dollars in election promises and they’re now in a position of having to break them or rack up debt. If we don’t start capably and responsibly managing our finances, we will be running a string of deficits that would make Don Getty blush.” Premier Alison Redford campaigned on balancing next year’s budget. Not long after the election, she backtracked on that commitment by saying only the operational side of the budget would be balanced. Now, after months of promising a balanced operational budget and rejecting Wildrose demands for budget adjustments to account for lower revenues, Horner today admitted that “we have to adjust” for revenues coming in far below the government’s rosy projections for 2012. “This government should be completely ashamed; they are still taking in over $9 billion dollars of natural resource revenue and are now leaving their fiscal mess to be cleaned up by future generations with piles of new debt and eroded savings,” Wildrose Finance Critic Rob Anderson said. “This government did not campaign on creating this fiscal nightmare for Alberta and instead of cutting spending on ridiculous corporate welfare projects or new MLA offices they are now targeting core services in this province.”