Calgary, AB: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is warning politicians that Friday’s job numbers show Albertans can’t afford tax hikes.
“Today’s job numbers show that there’s no way Albertans can afford higher taxes and governments need to remember this when they are putting together their economic recovery plans,” said Franco Terrazzano, Alberta Director for the CTF. “Governments must do all they can to make sure they are not increasing taxes because the thousands of jobless Albertans and many tapped-out small businesses don’t have any more money to give.”
Alberta’s unemployment rate has increased to 13.4 per cent, which is the highest unemployment rate outside of Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador, according to Stats Canada’s labour force survey. At 10.8 per cent, Calgary’s unemployment rate is higher than every other major Canadian city. Alberta lost 243,800 jobs in April, following 117,100 jobs losses in March.
Premier Jason Kenney has warned that Alberta’s economic situation could be worse than any downturn the province has faced since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Kenney has also warned that the unemployment rate could reach 25 per cent and low oil prices could persist for 12 to 18 months.
In light of massive unemployment, the CTF is calling on municipal governments across Alberta to step-back any planned property tax hikes and for the provincial government to reject any calls for new tax hikes.
“Higher taxes must be a non-starter, instead politicians must do everything they can to keep more money in Albertans’ pockets,” said Terrazzano.