EDMONTON, AB: Wildrose is introducing strong fiscal accountability measures to protect taxpayers under Bill 4, An Act to Implement Various Tax Measures and to Enact the Fiscal Planning and Transparency Act, at committee of the whole, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.
The amendments, if passed, would:
- Lower the debt limit to 7 per cent of GDP from 15 per cent;
- Only allow the contingency account to be used for two consecutive years;
- Cancel ministerial stipends should the government exceed the debt limit;
- Force the government to go to the people through a referendum should they want to further raise the debt ceiling;
- Compel a listing of the cash-adjusted balance in budgets to give Albertans a true sense of where Alberta’s finances are at;
- Reverse the insurance tax hike to leave more money in everyday Albertans’ pockets;
- Reverse the railroad tax hike to maintain the ability for rail to continue to be a viable way to export products, and;
- Remove the now moot component of the legislation, exempting the Minister to skip this year’s quarterly update.
“These common-sense amendments will only serve to make this legislation more accountable to Albertans,” Wildrose Shadow Finance Minister Derek Fildebrandt said. “In a time of economic uncertainty, the only logical step is to find ways to rein in spending, not allow this government to plunge our province further into debt.”
Wildrose encourages members of all political parties to vote in favour of the amendments at committee of the whole.