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Redford PCs continue down reckless fiscal path
CALGARY, AB (June 28, 2012): Despite a boon in land-lease sales, a whopping $11.6 billion in energy royalties and a windfall of investment income, the free-spending Redford government still could not balance the budget and managed to blow through $3 billion in savings in 2011, Wildrose Finance Critic Rob Anderson said today.
And with oil prices falling 20% in the first quarter of this fiscal year, Alberta faces the potential of a $5 billion budget deficit, a $7.5 billion cash shortfall and a budget crisis that will require drastic action to fix, Anderson said.
“The PCs just can’t help themselves from squandering Alberta’s wealth,” Anderson said. “We’re coming off a year of near-record oil prices and land sales and they haven’t eliminated the deficit, saved a single penny for the future and they are still raiding our savings to pay for their overspending. It’s absolutely shameful that we continue to have nothing to show for the staggering amount of money we are taking in.
“While the price of oil bailed them out in 2011, the PCs don’t look to be as lucky this year. Their reckless spending appears to be catching up with them.”
Anderson also noted that after skimming $344 million from the Heritage Fund in order to sustain government overspending, the Fund remains at a lower level than it was when it was set up in 1976.
“The Heritage Fund should be a legacy to future generations that will carry Alberta through booms and busts,” Anderson said. “Instead, because the PCs continue to wipe out every dollar it earns, it remains unable to fulfill that role. This government needs to stop meddling in Alberta’s future and leave the Heritage Fund to grow.”