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February 5, 2019

NDP must come clean about provincial finances, stop campaigning on public dime

Drew Barnes, United Conservative MLA for Cypress-Medicine Hat and Official Opposition Finance Critic, has issued the following statement:

“The NDP government’s recently announced pre-budget consultations are nothing more than thinly-veiled partisan campaigning ahead of the next election, being done at the expense of Alberta taxpayers.

“This out-of-touch NDP government is doing its so-called pre-budget consultations without being transparent about the current state of our province’s finances.

“Under Alberta’s Fiscal Planning and Transparency Act, the Finance Minister must release its third-quarter 2018 fiscal update before the end of this month – the government should come clean and release these numbers to Albertans now.

The last NDP Budget put Alberta taxpayers on the hook for nearly $100 billion in debt by 2023.

“This year alone, Albertans will pay nearly $2 billion in interest payments on the NDP’s reckless debt. That’s more than the budget of 19 out of 23 government departments – money that could have gone to actual programs and services Albertans depend on.

“But even that debt-heavy fiscal plan was based on resource revenues from several pipeline projects that are now delayed as the result of inaction by the provincial government and their Trudeau Liberal allies in Ottawa.

“Albertans are in the dark about the impact of the NDP government’s recent flurry of pre-election spending announcements on the province’s debt situation.

Under Alberta’s Election Act, we’re already in a legal campaign period, where the writ could be dropped at any time for an election date between March 1st and May 31st.

“The NDP government needs to stop campaigning on the public dime and come clean about the state of our provinces finances with Albertans.”