FORT MCMURRAY, AB (MARCH 27, 2015): Brian Jean released the following statement about Jim Prentice’s budget:
“If any Albertans were expecting that Jim Prentice would keep his word and introduce a fiscally responsible budget, they have to be sorely disappointed.
“This budget was about electoral politics and not about solving Alberta’s fiscal problems. After signalling for months that he would make significant cuts to the most bloated government in Canada, the Premier reversed direction during his slick campaign-style infomercial on Monday instead promising to”hold the line on spending.” But what we got in this budget was much worse than that – actual government spending is going up by half a billion dollars next year in this budget. So instead of real cuts, instead of holding the line, we get an even bigger overall government!
“While there are no cuts, there are fifty nine tax and fee increases. Albertans will be paying more for just about everything. And if the PCs mismanagement of the economy causes you to sell a home or refinance, you will pay in excess of $1000 more in land registration taxes. Billions in new taxes and fees will go into general revenues to feed the government’s priorities of luxury MLA offices, corporate welfare, sole sourced contracts and cronyism.
“More taxes and no real cuts mean that our deficit will be the highest ever and our debt will be well over $31 billion before these PCs start to turn things around. In just a few short years the interest payments on our debt will be over $2 billion and will be the fourth biggest operational expense in government.
“Jim Prentice said that an illegal election would be necessary to get a mandate for the fiscally responsible changes in the budget. But this budget is not fiscally responsible. If Jim Prentice and the PCs are serious about this budget, they should debate it and pass it in the Legislature before they call an election.”