Media release: Alberta needs a provincial sales tax
(March 20, 2018-Edmonton) Today, a coalition of researchers, economists, and members of civil society released an alternative budget to boost Alberta’s economic growth while reducing income inequality.
“Alberta is on the road to recovery after a deep recession,” said economist Nick Falvo, “now is not the time to reverse the course.”
The document, High Stakes, Clear Choices, sets a progressive vision encouraging public investment to stabilize tough economic times, reduce poverty, support our seniors, and create good jobs.
The report reveals that, since taking office in 2015, the Notley government took important measures to support poverty reduction. These include: introducing the Alberta Child Benefit; the near doubling of annual spending on housing; and, increasing minimum wage.
The authors note, however, increasing staffing for long term care facilities, universal child care and pharmacare, and reducing class sizes in K-12 are necessary to forge ahead towards economic prosperity.
The report further calls for government action to implement budget processes honouring the duty to consult with Alberta’s Indigenous communities, as well as more funding for Indigenous programs.
“Budgets are always about choices,” says contributing researcher Angele Alook. “Alberta continues to have the lowest taxes in Canada and that is nothing to be proud of.”
Alberta could implement a 5% provincial sales tax and still be the lowest tax jurisdiction in the country, she added.
“Increasing tax revenues would provide a foundation for economic sustainability,” added Falvo.
Finally, the report emphasizes that Alberta must forge ahead with a more diversified economy and creating good, green jobs for Albertans.
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Nick Falvo, Editor – Alberta Alternative Budget, (cell) 587-892-7855, (email) firstname.lastname@example.org
Nick Falvo is a Calgary-based research consultant. He has a PhD in public policy.