EDMONTON, AB: If Finance Minister Joe Ceci cannot show his work for his optimistic revenue projections, it will mean no balanced budgets and higher taxes by 2019-20, the Wildrose Official Opposition said.
Ceci could not back up any of his budget projections for a 15 per cent revenue boom in years four and five of his financial plan at the Resource Stewardship Committee Tuesday. All he provided was a single number for expenditures and a single number for revenues, which conveniently project a barely balanced budget in 2019-20.
Wildrose Shadow Finance Minister Derek Fildebrandt asked Ceci repeatedly at the committee to provide the NDP’s economic and spending assumptions for years four and five. Ceci refused.
“We have seen there is no spending restraint from this government so the only path to balance is to rely on revenues bailing them out,” Fildebrandt said. “If Albertans are to take Minister Ceci’s plan seriously, he has to tell us what he’s basing his hopes on.”
Fildebrandt said Ceci is racking up record levels of debt with no exit strategy.
“Minister Ceci is already running up $47 billion in debt while he waits for the revenue roller coaster to get us back to balance, and that just isn’t a plan,” Fildebrandt said. “Albertans will be left holding an even bigger tab if his revenues are too optimistic, so he has to come clean and show us his assumptions.”
Read the transcript here.