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JUST THE FACTS: Pledge #1 Balanced Budget and Savings Act
Today, Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith announced the first Wildrose pledge: the Balanced Budget and Savings Act. Shortly after Danielle presented this responsible and fully costed Wildrose plan that puts Albertans first, the Redford PCs issued the kind of fear mongering response we’ve come to expect from a desperate party that’s run out of ideas.
Here are the FACTS:
- The 886 million-dollar deficit the PCs created can be easily covered off by the 1.6 billion-dollar in savings gained by extending the three-year capital plan to four years. This is not a cut. It is a small, one-year delay for lower-priority projects.
- In direct contradiction to the misguided PC claims, Wildrose has a detailed proposal that increases the number of front line workers in health, education, and seniors care.
- If the PC spinners had taken a few minutes to read the Wildrose Balanced Budget Alternative (http://www.wildrosecaucus.ca/media/2012/03/Wildrose-Balanced-Budget-Alternative-2012.pdf) they would have seen the following in the executive summary:
Ensure the vast majority of the nearly $1 billion in new operational funding be sent directly to the front lines. This will be done by freezing all public sector wages for one year, implementing a hiring freeze of all non-front line staff, and directing all new funding as follows:
- Hire 1,425 new teachers, teaching assistants and support staff for students with special needs: $114 million
- 1,000 new senior care support workers for home care, long term care, and assisted living: $50 million
- Increase AISH Payments by $400 a month: $270 million
- Increase funding for mental health: $50 million
- 1,000 new nurses, technicians, and other health support staff: $80 million
- Improve access to emergency rooms and family doctors: $100 million
Increase funding for additional publicly funded health procedures as follows:
- 1,000 knee surgeries: $17 million
- 1,000 hip surgeries: $20 million
- 8,000 cataract surgeries: $10 million
- 50,000 MRIs, CT scans and other diagnostic tests: $40 million
- Hire 300 new police officers, corrections officers, and sheriffs, including 5 dedicated check stop teams: $53 million
- Budget to plan better for emergencies and natural disasters: $100 million