EDMONTON OCTOBER 29, 2019 – A new report has confirmed earlier warnings that the UCP’s first budget will kill as many as 114,000 jobs, split between the public and private sectors, and “put Alberta on a short path to economic recession.”
The report, entitled The “Kenney Recession” Confirmed, is a follow-up to an earlier report that modelled the impact that recommendations from the MacKinnon Panel would have on jobs and the economy in Alberta.
That earlier report, entitled The Kenney Recession, concluded that MacKinnon’s recommendations, if implemented, would kill more jobs in Alberta than had been lost during the oil-price collapse of 2014-16. It also criticized MacKinnon for relying on outrageously rosy revenue projections.
The new report, being released by the Alberta Federation of Labour today, confirms that by following closely to recommendations from the MacKinnon panel, the Kenney government’s new budget will likely tip the Alberta economy into recession.
“The UCP ran on promises of jobs and economic growth: but with this budget, Albertans will be getting the opposite of those things,” says Alberta Federation of Labour president Gil McGowan.
“This budget will tip us into recession in order to pay for tax cuts that won’t create jobs. And what’s worse, this recession won’t be driven by external forces beyond our control. Instead, it will be self-inflicted. That’s why we’re calling the coming recession the Kenney recession. His cuts will have caused it, so we think it should bear his name.”
It shows that, even with the government’s unrealistically rosy revenue projections, the budget will lead to 82,000 lost jobs and a 3.5 per cent contraction of the provincial economy. When you use more realistic projections for economic and revenue growth from private forecasters, the number of lost jobs increases to 114,000 and the scale of economic contraction increases to 4.8 per cent of provincial GDP.
“Albertans will need to brace themselves for the ‘Kenney Recession’ with job losses that will be worse than the economic crisis caused by the drop in worldwide oil prices,” concludes the report. “The impact of this budget on public services in Alberta will be catastrophic. The economic impact of these cuts will be equally dramatic.”
QUOTES FROM THE REPORT:
“Unlike previous recessions, which were caused by external factors like collapsing oil prices, this one will be self-inflicted. It will be a choice. That’s why we’re calling the coming recession the ‘Kenney recession.’ It will not be the result of forces outside of our control. Instead, it will be the direct result of Jason Kenney’s reckless cuts and his irresponsible fiscal policies. So we think it should bear his name.”
“Alberta will need to continue to invest in public services like health care and education as people move to Alberta, enroll their children in schools and access our public health care system. But Premier Kenney is reducing the public services that help ensure Albertans remain healthy and active in our communities and local economy, the public services that ensure our children receive a quality education and the public services that are a vital safety net that Albertans turn to when they are in need the most.”
“The UCP Fiscal Plan is bad for the economy because to build a strong economy, we need modern infrastructure to keep our businesses moving. And we need top-quality health care and education to build and maintain a healthy, skilled workforce. A strong public sector is a vital part of our economy’s foundation.”
“The impact of this budget on public services in Alberta will be catastrophic. The economic impact of these cuts will be equally dramatic.”
Ramona Franson, AFL Director of Communications