AFL says budget falls short

"This year's budget shows the Progressive Conservative Party is more concerned about the Wildrose Alliance than it is about Alberta's workers, families and communities."

That's the reaction to the provincial budget from the Alberta Federation of Labour.

President Gil McGowan notes that this year's budget contains $6.6 billion in infrastructure spending, while program spending will not increase over last year, meaning a reduction when inflation is taken into account.

"After years of neglect, Alberta needs infrastructure investment," says McGowan. "However, without adequate program funding, Stelmach's legacy will be empty hospitals and schools. There is little point building new health facilities and schools if we don't have the funds to hire staff to run them."

McGowan says the budget proves the Tories are like the Wildrose Alliance in another important way: both parties only look at the spending side of the budget and ignore the revenue side.

"This budget is totally bereft of any plan to deal with the billions of dollars the government is failing to collect by not meeting its own targets on royalty revenues. The provincial purse lost about $37 billion in the last decade thanks to this madness," says McGowan.

"Like the Wildrose Alliance, the Tories are willing to let billions of dollars disappear because of politically motivated giveaways and a shoddy collection system.", Fri Feb 25 2011

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