EDMONTON, AB: The NDP government should immediately take steps to reduce spending following the release of a new report that confirms out-of-control spending, not low oil prices, is to blame for the province’s broken balance sheet, the Wildrose Official Opposition said.
According to the new Fraser Institute study, if previous governments had kept spending increases in-line with population growth and inflation, Alberta could have posted a budget surplus this year, despite low oil prices.
Last year, Wildrose released a 10-point plan showing how the government could immediately save $2 billion.
“It’s troubling to know the NDP could begin the process of righting our fiscal ship, but doesn’t have the political will to do it,” Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said. “The government should be ashamed and embarrassed by this report, and treat it like a wake-up call. Other provinces are taking action to reduce spending in these tough economic times, and we should also.”
Alberta has faced four credit downgrades since the NDP came to power in 2015, and is now borrowing $5-8 billion a year to cover its operational costs.
“Wildrose has put forward a plan to start getting spending under control while the NDP marches with its blinders on over the fiscal cliff,” Wildrose Shadow Finance Minister Derek Fildebrandt said. “You can borrow for today, you can borrow for tomorrow, but very soon we are going to hit a debt wall that is going to seriously jeopardize the ability of the government to provide important services. It’s time for the NDP to pull their heads out of the sand and show some leadership.”