Clark releases shadow budget; balances in four years, no frontline cuts
Posted on March 17, 2017 by Robbie Kreger-Smith
EDMONTON, AB - Alberta Party Leader Greg Clark has released the third Alberta Party shadow budget, a detailed plan to once again put our province on a pathway to prosperity.
The document may be found here
“Yesterday's budget shows that the NDP are on the wrong path,” said Clark, “a path that leads to perpetual deficits and unsustainable debt. They've used unrealistic forecasts for energy prices, under-budgeted for natural disasters and have likely over-estimated economic growth.”
“It's frustrating, because Albertans know there’s a better path. A path that creates economic growth. A path that sees front line services grow to match population growth. A path that balances the budget in four years. A path to prosperity.”
The Alberta Party plan puts all options on the table. It is a responsible plan to not only get to balance, but to start paying back debt.
“Our revenue forecasts are much more conservative than the NDP,” said Clark. “We forecast oil prices based on the futures curve rather than industry estimates. We forecast at $51 this year, $52 next year and $53 in 2019.”
The Pathway to Prosperity plan constrains spending 1% per year for four years, while continuing to fund funding increases to core services in health, education, post-secondary, children's services and community and social services to match population growth.
The plan will freeze public sector salaries, transition the carbon tax to become revenue neutral by cutting personal, corporate and small business tax starting in 2022, and continue to rebate Albertans in lowest 1/3 of income brackets at their actual cost.
“We will get Alberta off the non-renewable revenue roller coaster by capping non-renewable revenue at $3B a year for operations,” Clark continued. “Any excess will go to debt repayment, infrastructure spending, and the Heritage Savings Trust Fund.”
The Alberta Party shadow budget shows a deficit of $8.7 billion this year, followed by $6.9 billion, $5.6 billion, $3.4 billion and returning to balance in fiscal 2021/22.
“We will continue strong capital investment focused on getting dollars out the door with projects that can be deployed quickly,” said Clark.
“I want to continue the public discussion we started with the launch of Pathway to Prosperity. We need to hear from Albertans about the best revenue streams for our province and the best ways to find efficiencies and restructure Alberta's tax system.”
Clark will be embarking on a province-wide tour to speak to Albertans and hear the ideas they may have about the best way to return to a strong financial position in Alberta.
“The NDP have put us in a very difficult position, and there's a big risk it gets worse, not better. There is a better path, they just need to choose it”