Premier Jason Kenney’s corporate tax cuts are being used to benefit shareholders not boost investment in the province, says the Alberta NDP.
Suncor, Cenovus, Imperial, and CNRL have combined for $5 billion in share buybacks, debt repayment, and dividends in the last quarter alone, says the NDP.
Imperial, Suncor, and CNRL, are all planning on spending roughly $1 billion, $1.5 billion, and $1.8 billion on share buybacks over the next year, the NDP says in a news release.
“This is just further proof that the UCP’s corporate giveaway has failed,” said Deron Bilous, NDP critic for economic development and innovation in a statement Tuesday. “Jason Kenney promised it would lead to big spending on new infrastructure and a jobs boom. Instead, we just see it going to out-of-province shareholders.
“These companies have a responsibility to maximize value for their shareholders, but the premier has a responsibility to create jobs for Albertans, and he is failing.”
The NDP says the premier accelerated $4.7 million in corporate tax cuts June 2020 as Alberta emerged from the pandemic’s first wave and companies returned to profitability.
“Albertans are tired of waiting. It’s been two years since the UCP gave billions of dollars to profitable corporations and the only people who have benefited are shareholders,” said Bilous. “The UCP needs to reverse the corporate tax cut now that these companies are making money off the resources that belong to all Albertans and use it to create jobs, diversify our economy, and fund healthcare and education.”
Kenney and Energy Minister Sonja Savage sat down with oil executives last month urging them to increase their investment in Alberta.