"There is no easy way out of Alberta’s fiscal mess," writes Parkland Institute Director Trevor Harrison. "Alberta must find new revenue streams and must break free of oil dependency. The transition will be hard."
Tax measure would help Alberta get back onto a solid financial footing
Alberta must bring in a harmonized sales tax. This is the conclusion reached by myself and 18 economists, political scientists, sociologists and other public policy experts in an article that recently ran in two major Alberta newspapers. Why did we say this?
Put simply, there is no realistic alternative if the province hopes to return to a balanced budget and pay for necessary services.
A recent poll reports that 43 per cent of Albertans disapprove of the NDP government’s budget announcing a $6.1 billion deficit for 2015-16. At the same time, 55 per cent do not want cuts to capital spending and 49 per cent approve of the government’s plan to increase capital spending.
I interviewed Stephen Harper in the fall of 1991 as part of my doctoral research into the Reform party. Of all the things he said at that time, the comment that has stuck most with me was that it was undesirable for a governing party to garner more than optimum electoral support; beyond that meant it owed too much to too many voters.