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Taxpayers Federation calls for Alberta government to cut spending

November 30, 2018
Taxpayers Federation calls for Alberta government to cut spending

EDMONTON, AB: Today, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF), called on the Alberta government to cut spending, in light of its second quarter fiscal and economic update.

“The Alberta government desperately needs to get its fiscal house in order,” said Franco Terrazzano, Alberta Director with the CTF. “Overspending is what got the government into its fiscal mess and cutting spending is what’s needed to get the government out of this mess.”

The Alberta government’s second quarter fiscal update  forecasts a 2018 budget deficit of $7.5 billion, with the spending forecast increasing by $436 million compared to the original budget. The Alberta government's debt is currently increasing by over $1 million every hour, with the average Albertan owing over $11,000 in provincial government debt alone.

The Alberta government’s 2018 budget relies on long term optimistic assumptions to balance the books by 2023:

  • Economic growth that is higher than private sector forecasts every year throughout the years 2018-21 (see page 117)
  • 174 per cent increase in non-renewable resource revenue (see page 86)
  • Housing starts that are higher than private sector forecasts (see page 120)
  • An unemployment rate that is lower than private sector forecasts in all but one year (see page 119)

“Unlike many households and businesses that have had to tighten their belts during the downturn, the government seems unwilling to cut its own spending and is instead spending more,” continued Terrazzano. “The Alberta government is hoping for a boom to balance the books.”

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