The budget was released today – after a lot of consultation. The strongest of which was the election platform which Albertans voted overwhelmingly for. The Mackinnon Panel provided expert consultation; 35,000 people participated in two telephone town halls and 4,000 responded online.
The campaign platform promised a balanced budget by the end of the first term. This budget delivers.
We have reduced revenue expectations, versus the last governments projections, to more reasonable levels in light of our economic realities.
We have trimmed expenses by a modest 2.8 per cent while safeguarding health, social services and education funding.
The result is a balanced budget by 2023, one that will bring us more in line with the spending levels of other provinces.
This budget is a very careful balancing of the need to get our culture of overspending under control and the desire to provide the essential services that Albertans need.
To be clear; this is not 1993, nor are there Klein like cuts across the board. Yes, there are some cuts amounting to 2.8 per cent over four years, or .03 cents on the dollar.
This is a budget focused on getting Albertans back to work through business tax cuts and red tape reductions.
It is a budget that will make life better for Albertans by maintaining funding for health care, education and social services including Children’s’ services, AISH and seniors and housing.
It is a budget that will stand up for Albertan’s against the foreign funded activists that seek to cripple our province and against the attacks that come from Ottawa.
We will fight for Alberta with a $30 million Canada Energy Centre mandated to correct all the misinformation hurled at Alberta.
The budget does, in this first year, take the 1.5 Billion hit for a rail contracts the NDP misguidedly signed in last 3 weeks of their term.
It grapples with what now costs $5 million/day in interest on the existing debt.
The MacKinnon report made it clear that municipalities must shoulder more of the responsibility for major projects.
The Legislature, in the Estimates process, will spend the next 2 weeks going over the budget line by line to understand it fully.
This is a bold, reasonable, and credible budget that will get us back to balance and prosperity. It is all about Jobs, growth and the economy in Alberta and for Albertans.