The Alberta government’s budget will hurt the lives and livelihood of many Albertans while giving billions to protect the bottom lines of major corporations.
Rather than having any plan to fix the growing fiscal deficit, the UCP government has chosen to avoid its long-standing revenue problem. In comparison to other provinces, budget documents show Alberta would have collected $13.3 billion more in revenue if we had the same tax structure as Ontario and Saskatchewan.
To make matters worse, Alberta’s corporate tax revenue declined by $2 billion in the last two years, (from $4.1 billion in 2019-20 to a projected $1.89 billion in next year’s budget) due, in part, to the UCP’s decision to give corporations significant tax cuts. Additionally, energy revenues are projected to be down more than $2 billion from last year’s budget of $5.36 billion to $3.22 billion next year.
“The time for fair and progressive taxation is now,” said Dr. Trevor Harrison, director of Parkland Institute. “This is a make-believe budget that doesn’t address real issues facing the province. Rather than simply hoping for a return to the high resource revenues from global oil corporations of the past, the government needs a real plan that invests in the people and future of Alberta.”
Unfortunately, rather than helping Albertans through these difficult times by investing in programs and supports that help Albertans get the education and services they need for the future, the UCP government is cutting vital programs that will hurt people’s lives.
For example, the government is cutting the childcare budget even though the federal government announced they will provide up to an additional $45 million in funding to Alberta for childcare. Additional cuts to post-secondary education ($126 million), employment and income supports ($82 million) and housing and homeless support will also have a devastating impact on many vulnerable Albertans.
“This budget does the opposite of protecting Albertans lives and livelihoods, and will actually make the economic situation worse for families who are the hardest hit during the pandemic,” said Bill Kilgannon, executive director of Parkland Institute. “It is shocking that rather than respecting front-line public sector workers as heroes, they are now facing wage cuts and layoffs with the $800 million cut to the public sector employment.”
Media contact: Bill Kilgannon 780-993-3736