EDMONTON, AB (March 8, 2013): The Wildrose Official Opposition’s Wildrose Financial Recovery Plan would eliminate this year’s operating deficit, cut the cash deficit in half and restore Alberta to a modest $15 million cash surplus by 2014.
While the PC government’s 2013-14 budget puts Alberta on a path towards $17 billion in debt by 2016, the Wildrose Financial Recovery Plan proposal offers prudent, responsible spending that eliminates government waste, trims the bureaucracy and management, holds the line on wages, invests in infrastructure and protects front-line services. “After a decade of PC waste and overspending, Alberta once again needs new leadership to restore the once proud Alberta Advantage. Unfortunately, the only plan we heard from Premier Redford yesterday is to saddle Albertans with billions in new debt ,” Wildrose Official Opposition Leader Danielle Smith said. “Our plan asks for leadership to begin at the top by implementing immediate MLA pay reductions, ending corporate welfare, freezing wages, targeting a bloated bureaucracy in government and at AHS and working towards sustainable public sector pension reform.” The Wildrose Financial Recovery Plan is built on these key steps:
1. Prevent any new tax or tax hike from being introduced without a provincial referendum
2. Eliminate the operating deficit immediately in Budget 2013
3. Eliminate the real cash deficit by Budget 2014
4. Legislate the Wildrose Balanced Budget and Savings Act in 2014 that will cap annual increases in spending and save 50% of all future cash surpluses into the Heritage Fund With the PC government spending at double the rate of inflation plus population over the past 10 years, including a staggering 6.9% increase by Premier Redford in 2012, Wildrose Finance Critic Rob Anderson said that if the government had listened to the Wildrose Spending Restraint Rule of limiting spending increases to population and inflation, the province would have enjoyed continued surpluses throughout the most recent economic downturn.
“Future generations will look back at this government as squandering their prosperity by building up billions of dollars in debt after a decade of wasteful spending,” Anderson said. “With our savings completely eroded and a return to structural deficits, it’s time for an immediate course correction. The Wildrose Financial Recovery Plan is a responsible approach to cut wasteful spending while still maintaining infrastructure funding, front-line services and remaining debt-free.”