Taxpayers: Good Budgets Need Guardrails

Author: Kris Sims 2023/02/28


  • Balanced Budget Law
  • Spending tied to population growth and inflation
  • 50 per cent of surpluses going to debt repayment

EDMONTON, AB: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is applauding the Alberta government’s 2023 budget as it focuses on paying down the debt, balanced budgets and saving for the future.

“You can’t provide for your family if you’re counting on winning the lottery every year,” said Kris Sims, Alberta Director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. “Committing to balanced budgets, debt repayment and saving for a rainy day shows this government is serious about not repeating the mistakes of the past.”

Alberta’s Budget 2023 commits to:

  • Mandating balanced budgets.
  • Increased operating expenses tied to population growth and inflation.
  • At least 50 per cent of any surplus funds must go towards debt repayment.
  • Remaining cash from surpluses must be spent in only three ways:
    - Paying down the debt.
    - Deposits into the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund.
    - One-time initiatives that do not lead to permanent increases in government spending.

“In 1999 premier Ralph Klein committed to putting 75 per cent of the province’s surplus down on the debt. That rule kept his government from blowing the surplus each year and remaining committed to making Alberta debt free,” said Sims. “Following Klein’s lead is a strong showing that this government is committed to debt repayment as well.”

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation has been urging the government to create budget guardrails for the future for decades.  


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