AIRDRIE, AB (May 23, 2014): Jim Prentice is poised to carry on Alison Redford’s legacy of debt should he assume the Progressive Conservative leadership and become premier, Wildrose Finance Critic Rob Anderson said today.
In a speech to the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, Prentice confirmed he is on side with Redford’s debt policies, which will see Alberta take on $21 billion by 2016 despite enjoying some of the best income-producing years in the province’s history.
By that time, Alberta taxpayers will fork out $820 million a year in interest payments alone. [Here is a look at what $820 million means to the Alberta budget: INFOGRAPHIC – The Cost of Debt]
“Obviously, Jim Prentice is offering no change whatsoever from the debt and overspending policies of the Redford administration,” Anderson said. “The only people who will benefit from the Prentice debt agenda will be his banking buddies that he borrows from. Everyday Albertans, once again, will be left paying the tab for another overspending premier insistent on saddling the next generation with billions in debt.”
Anderson notes the Wildrose 10-Year Debt-Free Capital Plan would see $48 billion go towards key infrastructure projects over the next decade without any borrowing. He also said government debt is unlike household debt, like a mortgage, because government can’t sell off its assets.
“Albertans wouldn’t want us to be selling off roads and hospitals and bridges if we get into financial trouble,” Anderson said. “The fact is building key infrastructure is core government spending and should be treated as such. Mr. Prentice obviously believes what Ms. Redford believed, that it’s perfectly OK to put Albertans billions in debt to in order to provide basic services.”