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Airdrie MLA "disappointed" by budget numbers

By: Sara Wilson

  |  Posted: Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 10:03 am

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The Government of Alberta announced its final 2014 budget numbers on June 30 and it’s showing a $2.5-billion surplus for this year.

This will be Alberta’s first surplus budget in six years, as the Province’s reported more than $45 million in revenue.

“We overcame many challenges last year - energy volatility, continued global economic uncertainty and of course the southern Alberta flooding,” said Doug Horner, minister of Finance.

“These events all had impacts on the lives of Albertans and on the Province’s bottom line. That said, our strong balance sheet and surplus position show we have turned a corner financially. Albertans can be confident this government will continue to focus on fiscal responsibility, building needed infrastructure and investing in core services like health, education and support for the vulnerable.”

However, the Wildrose Party, Alberta’s Official Opposition, is calling out the numbers, saying they don’t show the full picture.

“It’s disappointing and an insult to Albertans that at a time of amazing prosperity and revenues, the government continues to borrow billions and play a financial shell game with taxpayers’ dollars,” said Wildrose Finance Critic and Airdrie MLA Rob Anderson.

“Once again, the PCs are claiming a surplus when in reality they spent $2 billion more than they received in revenue. That’s just basic math, but not surprising given their track record of fiscal mismanagement and incompetency. This method of budget reporting has been strongly criticized recently by six former Alberta finance ministers who called for a return to consolidated budgets. It has been thoroughly discredited and should not be relied on for accurate information.”

According to the Province, Alberta’s economy also continued to expand, creating more than 61,400 jobs in 2013.

The economic growth rate is estimated to be 3.9 per cent for 2014, which is the fourth consecutive year above three per cent.

Alberta’s population surpassed four million people, with a growth rate that is three times the national average, according to the Province.

“The global economy remains very uncertain, yet Alberta continues to rise above the crowd. The bottom line is that we are the economic engine of Canada and will continue to be the province of choice for people who want a better future,” Horner said.

For more information on Budget 2014, visit www.alberta.ca


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