Taxpayers Federation calls on Alberta government to go on a diet in 2019
CALGARY, AB: With the beginning of the New Year, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) is calling on the Alberta government to change its overindulging ways and cut spending to get its fiscal house in order.
“Albertans are ready for the province’s finances to get back in shape,” said CTF’s Alberta Director Franco Terrazzano. “It’s time for the Alberta government to get its overspending under control and include a budget diet in its New Year’s resolutions.”
Between 2004 and 2015 the Alberta government’s program spending increased by 100 per cent. For the years 2015, 2016 and 2017, the Alberta government’s operating spending growth outpaced increases in inflation and population. Even with half a million fewer people than B.C., the Alberta government’s 2018 budget spending is billions of dollars larger.
Opportunities for savings include:
- Government employee compensation – Government employees (all levels) in Alberta earn a 10 per cent wage premium compared to their counterparts in business. Government employees are also much more likely to be covered by a registered pension plan, retire earlier, lose more work hours for personal time and are less likely to experience job loss than those working for a business;
- Government employee job growth – According to a Fraser Institute report, between July 2014 and May 2018 government jobs in the province increased significantly, while the number of jobs outside government declined.
- Health care costs – According to a University of Calgary report comparing per person spending, the Alberta government spends $3.8 billion more than the average of British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec on health care.
“Years of runaway government spending has resulted in higher taxes and more debt being piled on the backs of Albertans,” said Terrazzano. “That’s why the CTF is calling on the Alberta government to hit the treadmill and cut the fat.”