CALGARY, AB (January 14, 2015): Before slapping new taxes on the backs of hardworking Albertans, Premier Jim Prentice needs to focus on recalibrating his budget and cutting waste at the top, Wildrose Finance Critic Drew Barnes said today.
After consecutive years of record revenues, Barnes said a failure to properly plan and save means Alberta is in a position now where its finances are exposed to decades of PC mismanagement.
“The savings account is depleted, the province has plunged the province billions in debt and now the premier is talking about asking Albertans to pay for the PC government’s record of failing to plan for the future,” Barnes said. “Mr. Prentice needs to start at the top with the perks and pay of politicians and the rising costs of his own offices. Before asking Albertans to make sacrifices, leaders need to set the tone from the top.”
Barnes cited the rising costs of infrastructure projects, such as new MLA offices, as another area putting a dent into Alberta’s treasury.
While the PC government has bankrolled on high oil prices, it has failed to put its spending in check for the past several years. Barnes said Prentice is setting the stage for future deficit budgets, more debt and higher taxes. He said this is not what Prentice promised to deliver when he ran for the leadership of the PC party.
“The Premier needs to start showing leadership,” Barnes said. “He needs to take a look in the mirror and ask himself if spending on things like overspending on MLA offices, the expanding size of the premier’s office and political salaries are priorities for Albertans.”