What is responsible fiscal planning? The answers you get depend on the questions you ask. In the case of the Government’s most recent budget, they’re asking the wrong questions. It’s no surprise they’ve got the wrong answer.

Every budget needs to make assumptions about the future. In Alberta, that’s even more difficult given the unpredictability of energy prices. When the Alberta Party Caucus plans our alternative budget, we use very conservative forecasts for energy revenues and all revenues beyond that.

That’s just good management, and good fiscal planning. That’s what Albertans expect from their government and that’s what the Alberta Party Caucus will deliver.

The Alberta Party Caucus shadow budget’s key projections are as follows:

WTI Projections (CAD/bbl)
Fiscal Year Alberta Party Caucus Projection Government Budget         2016 Projection
2016 $42 $42
2017 $50 $54
2018 $56 $64

 

Exchange Rate Projection (CAD/USD)
Fiscal Year Alberta Party Caucus Projection Government Budget        2016 Projection
2016 $0.78 $0.74
2017 $0.80 $0.76
2018 $0.80 $0.78

 

Non-Renewable Resource Revenue Projections (Millions of $)
Fiscal Year Alberta Party Caucus Projection Government Budget        2016 Projection
2016 $1,364 $1,364
2017 $2,654 $2,753
2018 $3,614 $4,225

 

We must constrain spending growth to bring spending in line with provincial per-capita

We must constrain spending growth to bring spending in line with provincial per-capita averages and the 15-year average rate of inflation plus population growth within three years by:

  • Enabling entrepreneurs by reducing the small business tax rate to 2%
  • Empowering the public service to find cost savings
  • Implementing a Priority Based Budgeting system to prioritize government programs that are most important to Albertans
  • Freezing public sector compensation while allowing for population growth through additional front line employees

It is a very challenging time in Alberta, and the government doesn’t control the price of oil. They do control how they react to low energy prices. Using reasonable and conservative revenue and spending forecasts is the responsible thing to do.

Our alternative budget shows that there are options that do not impact front line services while limiting deficits. There is a better way – what do you think?

 

2015 Fiscal Year Per Capita Expenditures

 

15 year average AB growth rate comparison


Share This