EDMONTON, AB: A new report from the Parliamentary Budget Officer in Ottawa shows the Alberta NDP government is relying on overly optimistic revenue projections for the next several years, the Wildrose Official Opposition said.
The report projects that West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil prices will only hit $55.40 by 2018. The recent budget introduced by Finance Minister Joe Ceci relies on WTI prices hitting $72 the very same year.
*all prices in USD
Every $3 dollar swing in the price of oil will have roughly half-billion dollar implications for the treasury.
“The NDP continue to insist on making a bad budget picture rosier to push forward more of their own risky economic experiments,” Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said. “We need to get serious about dealing with the challenges Alberta is facing, take steps to reduce government spending, and do all we can to attract investment back to Alberta.”
Wildrose Shadow Finance Minister Derek Fildebrandt warned that policies like raising business and individual taxes, royalty reviews, and dramatic increases to the minimum wage will continue to hamper efforts by Albertans to grow the economy.
“We need a plan that restores confidence in Alberta’s economy, instead of barreling down a path that only raises taxes, hikes spending and takes on a record $47 billion debt,” Fildebrandt said. “We cannot continue to hammer Albertans while banking on unrealistic revenue projections. If the NDP’s dubious oil projections do not come true, they will have to push back their balanced budget date by a third year to 2020, or beyond.”