March 21, 2018 (Edmonton) – The Alberta Party Caucus has laid out a realistic plan to balance the budget by 2022/2023 and protect frontline services. A day ahead of the planned release of the government’s budget, the Alberta Party shadow budget increases investments in education and innovation, and uses conservative revenue forecasts to prove that fiscal responsibility and protection of frontline services are not mutually exclusive.
Alberta Party Finance critic Greg Clark said that budgeting is about choices, and he believes the release of a shadow budget sends a clear signal to Albertans about what choices an Alberta Party government would make.
“The Alberta Party caucus has always believed that it isn’t enough to simply oppose every idea that government brings forward,” said Clark. “Doing your job as an opposition means showing where the government could be doing it better. This shadow budget is a way of communicating to the government, and to Albertans, that there is a better way.”
The shadow budget being put forward by the Alberta Party Caucus focuses on protecting frontline services and investing in important areas like education, but doing so in a way that puts government finances back on track.
Alberta Party Caucus leader Rick Fraser believes that balance of service delivery and fiscal responsibility is what Albertans want to see from their government.
“We’re looking at ways to get the budget to balance without putting health, education, and social services at risk. We need to keep investing to make sure we are leaving the next generation with the infrastructure and services they need to succeed, but we have to be careful not to saddle them with unmanageable debt as well.”
MLA Karen McPherson also stressed that good budgeting must take into account the costs of not investing.
“There are a lot of smart investments we are proposing in this budget. We’re looking at developing an innovation strategy, promoting diversity, and implementing a wellness strategy in schools,” she said, adding “these programs would provide a lot of value for Albertans going forward.”
The Alberta Party Caucus shadow budget can be found here.