March 12, 2013

QP: CORRECTING THE RECORD: PCs misfire on debt and savings

EDMONTON, AB (March 12, 2013):   PC CLAIM: Responding to a question from Wildrose Official Opposition Leader Danielle Smith on the dangers of debt, Premier Alison Redford failed to answer question and responded by saying, “Well Mr. Speaker, we are saving.” 

FACT: The Sustainability Fund is now almost completely gone after draining it from its $17 billion total from just five short years ago.  Budget 2013 takes $2 billion dollars out of the province’s savings account. 

PC CLAIM: Responding to a question from Wildrose Finance Critic Rob Anderson on Premier Alison Redford breaking her promise (at 1:48) not to go into debt, Premier Redford responded, “I find this incredibly ironic coming from a member that says we shouldn’t invest in infrastructure.”  as follows:

  • $21.6 billion to municipalities (through Wildrose 10/10 plan);
  •  $10.8 billion for the provincial highway network (Highway 63, ring roads);
  • $7.6 billion for health facilities and new equipment;
  • $3.8 billion for schools (approx. 100 new schools and 60 major modernizations); and
  • $4.2 billion for other public facilities

PC CLAIM: Responding to a question from NDP Leader Brian Mason, Finance Minister Doug Horner stated that, “they [the Wildrose] don’t have a savings plan.” 

FACT: A key pillar of the Wildrose Financial Recovery Plan is keeping Alberta debt-free and passing the Balanced Budget and Savings Act that includes a mandatory balanced budget, investing 50% of all cash surpluses into savings and prohibiting government from transferring interest earned in the Heritage Fund into general revenue. 

PC CLAIM: Responding to a question from Wildrose Finance Critic Rob Anderson on the dangers of debt, Municipal Affairs Minister Doug Griffiths stated, “We’ve balanced the budget with a zero increase.” 

FACT: Though the government has failed to be forthcoming with the total deficit number, the government is running a cash deficit of $5.5 billion this year alone, along with an operating deficit of $451 million.  In Budget 2012-13, Alberta is on pace to run a $1.4 billion operation deficit.

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