EDMONTON, AB (August 1, 2012): The Fraser Institute has joined the Bank of Canada in confirming that the Redford government based its pre-election 2012 Budget on overly optimistic revenue projections, charting Alberta on a course towards bigger deficits and extending the PC’s reckless mismanagement of the province’s finances.
In its report released today titled Alberta’s 2012 Fiscal Time-Bomb, the Fraser Institute says the 2012 budget deficit will exceed the Redford government’s projection of $886 million because of “optimistic” oil and gas price projections and “unrealistic” economic growth projections. This comes on the heels of the Bank of Canada cutting their average oil price projection from over $100 a barrel through to 2015 to under $90. The PCs have projected oil prices to average $99.25 this year, $106 next year, and $108 in 2014. “The evidence of this government’s ongoing and total mismanagement of Alberta’s finances keeps mounting,” Wildrose Official Opposition Leader Danielle Smith said. “We now know beyond the shadow of a doubt that Budget 2012 was built on misplaced optimism. The question now it what will they do about it – cuts, debt or higher taxes?” Wildrose sounded the alarm early about the Redford government’s wildly optimistic revenue projections and has consistently warned for months about what they could mean for Alberta’s bottom line – especially in light of the billions in spending promises Premier Alison Redford made in the 2012 campaign. Smith said the new schools and health facilities Redford promised could be on the chopping block because of her inability to budget responsibly. “This government’s ‘Don’t worry, be happy,’ routine is starting to wear thin,” Smith said. “It’s time for Premier Redford to show leadership and chart a plan for how to get out of the budget hole she has put Alberta in.”