Q3 Fiscal Update Shows Alberta Better Off Than PCs Want us to Believe
Posted on February 24, 2015 by Katherine Taylor
Alberta’s third quarter fiscal update shows either incompetence or a deliberate attempt to mislead Albertans about the state of our province’s finances, says Alberta Party leader Greg Clark.
“The fact the province is still forecasting a surplus shows Alberta’s economy is more resilient than the provincial government wants us to believe,” said Clark. “The PCs are using low oil prices as an excuse for massive cuts in the public service when they should be focused on providing the services and building the infrastructure Albertans need.”
Clark said the doom-and-gloom budget estimates are part of the PC election strategy.
“They’re playing a political game with Albertans,” said Clark. “They’re lowering expectations ahead of the budget so when the deficit comes in billions of dollars less than forecast they can take credit. It’s cynical politics at its worst.”
Clark pointed to the fact the province is still estimating the Canadian dollar at 88 cents, when it’s currently trading at 79 cents US.
“Each penny drop in the value of the Canadian dollar results in $275 million in annual revenue to the province,” said Clark. “The nine-cent difference between the government’s estimate and today’s price would add nearly $2.5 billion to Alberta’s revenues.”
The Alberta Party would invest in infrastructure projects to create jobs during the downturn and stop the resource revenue roller-coaster, said Clark.
“There is no doubt Alberta’s finances will suffer in this downturn. People will lose their jobs and our economy will slow down,” said Clark. “But now is the time to get people back to work by catching up on the massive infrastructure backlog created by years of PC mismanagement.”
“The PCs plan for drastic cuts will make a bad situation worse,” said Clark. “Their decision to cut every time oil drops means class sizes are directly tied to the price of oil. And that’s wrong.”