EDMONTON, AB (August 31, 2015): The NDP’s first quarter fiscal update contains a record $9.1 billion shortfall with massive spending increases, overly optimistic revenue projections, accelerated borrowing, all with no economic plan or budget to back it up, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.
The first quarter fiscal update released today shows a projected $9.1 billion plunge in the province’s net financial assets, financed through draining of the province’s savings and $6.4 billion in massive new borrowing. Alberta is spending a record $50.2 billion.
“What we need is a dose of reality from this government to get serious about the economy, jobs and the challenges facing our province, but instead we have unprecedented spending and a record $9.1 billion deficit,” Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said. “This is the largest net financial drop in Alberta’s history. The NDP clearly has no serious plan to deal with the economy. Instead of showing any kind of fiscal restraint, this forecast demonstrates a vacuum of leadership from our government.”
The NDP government is spending almost $1 billion faster than they can bring in new taxes with $1.4 billion in new operating expenses, and only $497 million in new revenue from tax hikes.
The NDP’s campaign document promised new business and personal tax increases would bring in $1.35 billion.
“The NDP financial plan doesn’t add up. Instead they are ramping up spending and bringing in tax increases that are depressing our economy,” Wildrose Shadow Finance Minister Derek Fildebrandt said.
The province’s borrowing binge will increase Alberta’s debt by 50 per cent to $18.3 billion, and comes with a projected $843 million in debt servicing costs.
“The NDP is out-of-step with the economic reality of today’s report,” Fildebrandt said. “The province is facing a ruinous budget forecast, and they can’t even be bothered to put forward their plan. This is a government on auto-pilot while they campaign for Thomas Mulcair. We need real action that rolls back risky economic experiments, reduces and controls spending and has a vision to get Alberta’s fiscal house in order.”
A firm date for the introduction of the provincial budget has yet to be set, but with an expected timeline October or early November, almost 6 months will have passed since the NDP formed government.