Calgary (June 29, 2016) – Alberta Party Caucus Leader Greg Clark released the following statement regarding the Government of Alberta’s Annual Report:
- The Government does not understand how to manage an economy in transition; they can’t even spend the money allocated for diversification.
- Credit downgrades are having a big impact on Alberta’s borrowing costs.
- The Government over-estimated to revenues from tax increases; Albertans using rational, and legal, means to reduce their tax bills.
This government does not know how to manage an economy in transition. They are merely thinking short term and governing for today, rather than for the future
We cannot place all of our hopes and dreams on oil coming back and solving all our problems. We need to still respect our traditional energy economy, while moving forward into the new. Alberta has a tremendous potential to have an innovative economy – not just oil and gas, but oil and gas and so much more.
The Government simply doesn’t understand the impacts that their economic decisions are making on businesses in Alberta. The effects of their poor decision making processes can be seen in the significant increase in corporate tax refund liability to $400M, up from $91M last year. Companies and individuals will react rationally to big tax hikes: they’ll pre-pay taxes wherever they can, legally, to avoid higher costs down the road. This puts Alberta in an even more difficult position in years to come and proves the NDs don’t understand how to manage the economy.
The Government is completely unable to understand the signals the market is sending them. While we were formerly competitive with BC and Ontario within the bond market, we are now at a competitive disadvantage relative to British Columbia, with a recent 22 basis point spread.
The Government is following right along in the footsteps of the previous government, caring more about headlines and feel-good announcements than making sound policy. In Economic Development and Trade, a full $34M of grant funding was not allocated. This funding could have been vital to simulating the economy, but now may not be deployed effectively to businesses who truly need it.
The Government is more interested in getting the pretty headline than actually improving our economy.
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