EDMONTON, AB (February 10, 2012): The 2012 Wildrose Balanced Budget Alternative calls for a one-year extension of the capital plan, a one-year across the board public sector wage freeze and a 2.5% overall spending increase. Taken together, these actions would allow for more targeted spending on priority areas and would result in a modest $16-million budget surplus in 2012-2013 instead of the $3.1-billion cash deficit the PC government posted yesterday [reported $886 million deficit plus $2.2 billion capital deficit – Page 8, Fiscal Plan].
“Alberta must stand apart. We must be leaders and show the world the only way to secure the future we desire for our children is for us to live within our means today,” Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith said. “Balancing the budget is part of responsible governing. It’s something Albertans can count on from the Wildrose.” Highlights of the 2012 Wildrose Balanced Budget Alternative include:
• A $4.12-billion investment in priority infrastructure over four years [$5.74 billion over three years in Budget 2012]
• An $854-million overall spending increase [$2.3-billion in Budget 2012]
• An across-the-board public sector wage freeze
• Targeted investments with new operational spending, including:
o $114 million for 1,425 more teachers
o $80 million for 1,000 more health workers, technicians and support staff
o $50 million for 1,000 more seniors care support workers
o $53 million for 300 more police officers, including 5 dedicated checkstop teams “I hope we have shown the PC government that you can balance the books without deep cuts to core programs and front-line services,” Wildrose Finance Critic Rob Anderson said. “The measures we have presented in our Balanced Budget Alternative are reasonable and would get the most value out of every taxpayer dollar.” The document in its entirety can be viewed here. The Wildrose Caucus stands for free enterprise, less government, increased personal freedom and democracy.