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October 13, 2017

Independent office confirms NDP fiscal policy damaging Alberta’s economy and setting future generations up for failure

Ottawa’s Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) has completed an independent assessment of Alberta’s fiscal policy, confirming the long-term impacts of NDP incompetence and financial mismanagement.

United Conservative Interim Leader Nathan Cooper and Finance Critic Ric McIver say the PBO’s analysis is deeply disturbing and are calling on the NDP to take immediate action to correct course.

Key findings of the report include

  • Current fiscal policy in Alberta is not sustainable over the long term;
  • The PBO estimates that permanent tax increases or spending reductions amounting to 4.6 per cent of provincial GDP ($14.1 billion in current dollars) would be required to achieve fiscal sustainability;
  • Health care spending is the key fiscal pressure in the projection, increasing by 2.5 percentage points of GDP over 2020 to 2091;
  • Alberta’s senior dependency ratio (population 65+/population 15-64, per cent) will climb from 17.1 in 2016 to 36.4 by 2091, and;
  • Alberta’s subnational fiscal gap is third worst in all of Confederation, at 4.6 per cent of GDP, only behind Newfoundland and the Territories.

“Yet another independent assessment of NDP fiscal policy has confirmed what United Conservative Party Caucus members have been saying for years: NDP mismanagement of Alberta’s finances has created a mess that will take generations to clean up,” said Cooper. “The NDP can start by immediately addressing health care spending levels, which are currently 20 per cent higher than in British Columbia for the same level of service.”

The PBO called Alberta’s current fiscal policy unsustainable over the long-term and estimates that at this pace, the provincial debt-to-GDP ratio will climb to a staggering 320 per cent by 2091.

“It’s clear from the last three budgets tabled by the NDP that their only plan is to kick the can down the road, making this fiscal mess a problem for our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to deal with,” said McIver. “We aren’t going to fix our fiscal problems overnight, but Albertans need to start seeing real leadership from the NDP before this damage becomes irreversible.”

The UCP remains hard at work holding this NDP government to account for its complete and total mismanagement of Alberta’s finances.