Edmonton, AB (March 16 2017) The NDP budget is uninspired, irresponsible and focused only on the short term, says Alberta Party Leader Greg Clark.

“I’m frustrated. It doesn’t need to be this bad,” said Clark. “The NDP could easily make better choices that put Alberta on a realistic path to a balanced budget while still investing in the services Albertans need.

“There is a pathway to prosperity, they’ve simply chosen to ignore it.”

Clark said the NDs poor choices put the province in a difficult position and it’s getting worse, not better.

“They’re not even trying to get the budget back on track,” said Clark. “It seems like they don’t realize the money has to be paid back. The NDP has no path to balance, much less a path to actually paying back the debt.”

When the NDP took over total debt was $12.9 billion. By 2019, it will be $71.1 billion, an increase of 451%. As a result of the massive increase in borrowing, debt servicing costs have increased 25% year over year since the NDP took office. By 2019, debt servicing costs will have increased by 217% to an astonishing $2.3 billion per year.

“That’s the equivalent of throwing away the entire Calgary Cancer Centre and the rebuilding of the Misericordia Hospital every year,” said Clark.

“This budget represents short-term thinking based on wildly unrealistic assumptions. They are cherry-picking numbers to artificially lower the deficit now and in future years.”

  • The NDs growth forecast is 2.6% compared to 2.2% average in private sector forecasts.
  • They’ve only budgeted $235 million for disasters when the 10-year rolling average is closer to $500 million
  • Energy royalties are estimated to grow 54% this year and 173% by 2019

“Our analysis shows the NDP plan never balances. Ever. What is the NDP doing to make Alberta the best place to do business in North America? To empower Albertans to take a step into the next economy? What does this do to promote long-term shared sustainable prosperity?”

“They’re missing out on what’s possible. What is missing is optimism rooted in reality. We can have a foot in the energy economy while taking a step into the new.”

“This government says there are only two choices. Borrow and spend, or institute devastating cuts. I think there’s a better way.”

“There is a way to continue to provide high-quality services, not have massive layoffs, but not end up in a place with a totally unsustainable deficit.

“They are not making the tough choices necessary for the future prosperity of this province. They have opportunities and are not taking them.

“If the Minister of Finance claims this to be prudent, I’d hate to see what he defines as reckless.”

 

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For an interview please contact:

Natasha Soles

Director of Communications and Legislative Affairs

Alberta Party Caucus

(780) 722-4733

Natasha.Soles@assembly.ab.ca


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