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Taxpayers Federation launches election-year promise tracker

March 29, 2019
Taxpayers Federation launches election-year promise tracker

CALGARY, AB: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation launched an election-year promise tracker to add up the new spending promises made by the New Democrat Party and the United Conservative Party since the beginning of 2019. The NDP has announced more than $12 billion worth of new spending promises, while the UCP has promised more than $500 million worth of spending to date.

“After years of higher taxes, budget deficits and soaring debt, Albertans need politicians who will get the government’s spending problem under control,” said Franco Terrazzano, Alberta Director for the CTF. “The promise tracker will help Albertans keep track of frivolous spending and keep parties accountable before the election.”

The Canadian Taxpayer Federation’s election tracker adds up spending promises made by the NDP and UCP since the beginning of 2019. Funding promises before Jan. 1 have not been included. New spending promises will continue to be added to the tracker until the vote on Apr. 16. The spending totals have not been broken down into annual levels, but represent the total value of the promise. The tracker does not consider taxpayer savings announced by the parties.

The NDP’s 2019 spending promises to date total $12.7 billion. The five largest spending announcements include:

  1. $3.7 billion for rail cars announced on Feb. 19;
  2. $3.4 billion for petrochemical and upgrader companies announced on Mar. 21;
  3. $1.5 billion for daycare subsidies announced on Mar. 24;
  4. $1.4 billion for expanding the high load corridor announced on Mar. 27, and;
  5. $1.3 billion for school development announced on Mar. 28.

The UCP’s 2019 spending announcements to date total $526.1 million. The five largest spending announcements include:

  1. $100 million for a mental health strategy announced on Mar. 28;
  2. $80 million for an energy war room announced on Mar. 22;
  3. $50 million for an Alberta law enforcement response team announced on Mar. 27;
  4. $30 million to expand access to opioid treatment announced on Mar. 28, and;
  5. $28 million for Northern Alberta Institute of Technology announced on Mar 26.

Alberta’s budget deficit is currently $7 billion and the government debt tab is increasing by over $1 million every hour.

“Politicians are trying to buy votes with huge spending promises instead of getting the province’s fiscal house in order,” said Terrazzano. “After more than a decade of runaway spending, parties need to do more than offer simple platitudes about balancing the budget, they need to make real cuts.”

You can find the election tracker spreadsheet here.

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