MEDIA RELEASE: Alberta should increase social spending; cuts are not the way to go
(June 24, 2019-Calgary) With Alberta’s economy still facing challenges and vulnerabilities, the Alberta government should not be doling out tax cuts or cutting social spending, according to the Alberta Alternative Budget (AAB) released today.
“Alberta still has, by far, the lowest debt-to-GDP ratio of any province,” says Nick Falvo, editor of the report. “We are in a good position to increase spending on education, invest in affordable child care, offer free dental care to Albertans under 18 years, and support other programs that would help Albertans facing unpredictability in the job market.”
The AAB is an annual exercise whose working group consists of researchers, economists, and members of civil society. The AAB aims to create a progressive vision for Alberta to boost economic growth and reduce income inequality.
Today’s report calls for the introduction of a harmonized sales tax to reduce Alberta’s reliance on profit from energy markets, that have always been volatile. Under the previous government, important steps were taken to stabilize the economy through diversification and social spending.
“The UCP government has already cut close to $6 billion in provincial revenue by cancelling the carbon tax and cutting corporate taxes, and this is the wrong direction,” says Falvo. “Instead, investing in programs and infrastructure is what is needed to foster a vibrant Alberta.”
Contact: Nick Falvo, email@example.com, 587-892-7855
Nick Falvo is a Calgary-based research consultant. He has a PhD in public policy.