Fiscal update shows province has revenue problem, not a spending problem
Edmonton – Alberta’s fiscal update shows a government disconnected from the economy it’s supposed to manage says the Alberta Federation of Labour.
With the population booming, the economy growing and Albertans working hard, there’s no excuse for the government being unable to balance its books. And it’s time for the government to stop playing the blame game.
“They’re spinning a doom-and-gloom story and putting the blame on markets and on public-sector workers, rather than their own bad planning.” Alberta Federation of Labour president Gil McGowan said. “Just a few weeks ago, the government singled out doctors as the cause of our budget woes. A few weeks before that, they went after teachers. There’s been talk of cutting nurses. Now they’re going after unionized government workers. They’re desperate to blame anyone but themselves.”
The update shows that province’s population grew by 2.5%, retail sales were up by 8.2%, and the province added 55,000 new jobs. Corporate profits and individual incomes were also up.
“This budget update shows that Alberta’s economy is growing, our population is booming, and they don’t have the courage to collect a fair share of revenues that will support the services needed for Alberta’s growing population,” McGowan said, noting that the B.C. government released a budget that increased corporate taxes and taxes on those who make more than $150,000.
The budget update, released Tuesday, shows strong economic growth, growing population but lower-than-projected resource revenues. Because of this shortfall, the government announced salary freezes for management and almost $600 million less for public services.
“Reading their fiscal update and press release, you get dizzy how quickly they spin and pull a U-turn and then spin again. It’s good times, but bad times, it’s great times, but they need to cut,” McGowan said.
Gil McGowan, President, Alberta Federation of Labour at 780-218-9888 (cell)
Olav Rokne, AFL Communications Director at 780-289-6528 (cell) or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.