Gateway Gazette

Moody’s Negative Outlook Shows Urgency to Limit Borrowing and Constrain Spending: Wildrose


EDMONTON, AB: Yesterday’s Alberta credit rating outlook change by Moody’s from stable to negative is the latest indication the NDP government must put together a more aggressive plan to reduce borrowing and program spending, the Wildrose Official Opposition said.

In October, Wildrose first warned the NDP government about the dangers of further borrowing and failing to constrain spending. Following the first credit downgrade announcement by Standard and Poor’s on Dec. 18, Wildrose called for a credit downgrade action plan, with steps that would include lowering the debt ceiling increase, and cancelling ministerial stipends if the government should exceed the debt ceiling.

“Wildrose has long warned the NDP government that without taking meaningful steps to control spending, and limit borrowing, it would do damage to investors’ confidence in Alberta’s credit rating,” Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said. “With the NDP delaying their royalty review, the legislature and their 2016 budget, investment confidence in Alberta will only continue to weaken until the government puts together a serious action plan.”

Interest payments on Alberta’s debt will soon be more expensive than every other department outside of health, education, post-secondary, and human services.

Wildrose Shadow Finance Minister Derek Fildebrandt said Finance Minister Joe Ceci has done little since the last credit rating downgrade to instill confidence that the government will get control of its finances.

“Wildrose has put forward reasonable solutions to control spending that the NDP have ignored in favour of ideological pseudo-economics that deny the realities of budgeting,” Fildebrandt said. “We need to start by getting our budget back under control with realistic revenue estimates, spending restraint, and pro-growth economic policies.”

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