The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is calling on the Alberta government to include a plan to balance the books in Thursday’s provincial budget. The CTF presented its recommendations during this year’s budget consultations.
“Without a plan to balance the budget, the government is flying blind,” said Kevin Lacey, Alberta director of the CTF. “The government needs to make decisions about post-pandemic spending, health-care pressures and dealing with raising costs due to inflation. But it’s difficult for a government to make decisions when there is nothing to guide the consequences of those decisions.”
The Alberta government predicted a deficit $5.8 billion in November down from the $18.2 billion presented in the last budget.
To balance the budget, the CTF is asking the government to reduce spending. Alberta’s per-person spending is the highest in Canada and has consistently been higher than the average of the 10 provinces over the last 25 years. Reducing spending to per-person spending levels in other large provinces would save taxpayers $10 billion annually, according to the Blue Ribbon Panel on Alberta’s finances.
“It’s time for the government to follow the recommendations of its own report and rein in more than a decade of overspending,” said Lacey. “The government has spent far too much for far too long and this budget is an opportunity for Premier Jason Kenney to show taxpayers that his government is willing to tighten its belt like everyone else.”