Massive deficit, NDP inaction on operational spending puts Alberta firmly on track for future credit downgrades
Posted on February 24, 2016 by Meagan Parisian
EDMONTON, AB - February 24, 2016 - Alberta Party Opposition Leader Greg Clark is deeply troubled by the ND Government’s lack of action on operational spending and sees a big risk of future credit rating downgrades from Alberta’s historic anticipated budget deficit.
“The fact they have no plan to curb operational spending is contributing to an unprecedented projected $10.5B budget deficit,” said Clark. “There’s no question Alberta is on track for further credit rating downgrades.
More troubling, Clark expressed concern that this year’s deficit was artificially lowered substantially because a significant amount of capital spending is unable to be deployed, noting the third quarter fiscal update deferred $948 in capital spending to future years.
“Investing in infrastructure only works if you can deploy your capital,” said Clark. “If the NDs are unable to do so jobs aren’t created and badly needed infrastructure isn’t built when needed. Stimulus only works if you can get it working, and the NDs don’t seem able to do it.”
Clark also noted that while health costs are up across the board, only physician compensation was singled out.
“I find it troubling the NDs chose to single out physician compensation rather than overall health costs,” said Clark. “Overall health costs must be addressed, but that goes beyond just physician compensation. It’s unacceptable to single out one group.”
“In their first year in office the NDs haven’t shown they have a viable economic plan, and clearly aren’t willing or able to make the tough choices required to avoid further credit downgrades.
“This update gives me no confidence that anything has changed.”
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