April 2, 2012 (Cremona, AB:): Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith today unveiled the third item in the Wildrose Pledge, the Alberta Energy Dividend. The Alberta Energy Dividend will send 20% of budget surpluses generated by oil and gas royalties directly to Albertans, giving all Albertans a direct share in the success of the province’s energy sector.
“Instead of squandering surplus funds on pet projects and more government waste, the Alberta Energy Dividend will ensure Albertans benefit directly from the wealth our energy sector generates,” said Smith. “Wildrose believes that Albertans can spend their own money better than government. That is precisely why we’ve got a plan to put more money back in their pockets instead of government coffers.” The Alberta Energy Dividend will:
- Send 20% of all provincial surpluses generated by oil and gas revenues directly to Albertans, providing every Albertan with an estimated $300 in 2015.
- Ensure Alberta remains well-positioned to meet economic challenges by only paying out energy dividends when the provincial budget runs a cash surplus.
- Help Alberta families and seniors meet the rising cost of living during times of economic prosperity and rising inflation.
This new plan is also both affordable and prudent, because it recognizes that government must live within its means, and make balancing the budget a top priority. By ensuring that dividends are only paid out in years when the government posts a surplus, the dividend remains affordable in the long-term. “These dividends are particularly important for seniors, young families, and those on fixed or limited incomes because they are tax-free. This means that other income, such as pensions, won’t be clawed back by the government because of dividend payment,” Smith said. “It’s a responsible way to make sure all Albertans benefit from our resource wealth while keeping the budget in balance.”