Premier Alison Redford has released the 2013 budget and it shows Alberta plunging back into debt for the first time in a generation.
Premier Redford’s comment that this is a once-in-a-generation budget is absolutely correct. It took a generation for Albertans to pay off former premier Don Getty’s debt and it will take a new generation to pay off the $17 billion dollars in new debt built up by Redford before 2016.
Budget 2013-2014 numbers:
• $3.5 billion — new debt this year, doubling the amount to over $8 billion next year;
• $16.9 billion — new debt before the next election, the original amount of the sustainability fund;
• $5.5 billion — budget 2013-14 cash deficit;
• $2 billion — amount taken from the sustainability fund in 2013-14;
• $691 million — what will remain in the sustainability fund after budget 2013-14;
• $1.4 billion — operational deficit for the current budget year, 2012-13;
• $451 million — operational deficit for budget 2013-14;
• $238 million — debt servicing in 2013, with $404 million in 2014 and $593 million in 2015;
The Wildrose financial recovery plan is built on these key steps:
• Prevent any new tax or tax hike from being introduced without a provincial referendum;
• Eliminate the operating deficit immediately in budget 2013;
• Eliminate the real cash deficit by budget 2014;
• Legislate the Wildrose Balanced Budget and Savings Act in 2014, which will cap annual increases in spending and save 50 per cent of all future cash surpluses into the Heritage Fund.
What do you think about Alberta’s 2013 budget? Let me know.
Kerry Towle, MLA
18, 4804 42nd Ave.
Innisfail, Alta, T4G 1T4