The UCP was elected with the promise to “bring back the Alberta advantage” – but with its 2019 budget, it seems to be doing so at the expense of the province’s future.
The Alberta Federation of Labour is calling it “The Kenney Recession” and claims the budget will result in a provincial economic downturn.
The “tax cuts” Premier Jason Kenney pledged to offer everyday Albertans have been given exclusively to corporations, while the rest of us are expected to “do more with less.” The burden of significant cuts to public sector services falls entirely on the shoulders of taxpayers – to the tune of a reported 114,000 public- and private-sector jobs lost.
These services include education, health care, policing – even municipal grant programs to fund capital infrastructure projects like roads and public facilities. Services that, during his campaign, Kenney assured voters he would “maintain or increase.”
And the elimination of tax credits aimed at diversifying Alberta’s economy has already discouraged one tech company from expanding into the province, despite the UCP’s promise to “make Alberta a magnet for investment in new technologies.”
While it seems the government is holding up its vow to boost the struggling oil and gas industry, this commitment comes at a price – $1.3 billion in cuts to public services, and $4.5 billion in corporate tax credits that benefit only a small percentage of the population.We recognize the importance of the energy sector to Alberta’s economy, but investing in a sustainable future is also vital – and this budget completely disregards that.