Alberta Alternative Budget 2017
Foundations for an Alberta Alternative Budget released today
(March 14, 2017-Edmonton) Today, a coalition of researchers, economists, and members of civil society released a plan to boost Alberta’s economic growth while reducing income inequality.
“For too long Alberta’s public services have been strained from decades of underfunding and reliance on volatile energy markets,” said contributing economist Robin Shaban, who noted that Alberta has just seen the worst recession in over three decades.
The 20-page document, Foundations for an Alternative Budget, sets a progressive vision encouraging public investment to stabilize tough economic times 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, that reducing education fees, increasing funding support for people with disabilities, and increasing public support for long term care are needed to help protect the most vulnerable populations during times of economic recovery.
“Budgets are always about choices,” says economist Garry Sran. “Alberta continues to have the lowest taxes in Canada.”
The province could raise an additional $7.5 billion in tax revenue each year and still be among the lowest taxed regions in the country, he added.
“Increasing tax revenues would provide a foundation for fiscal stability.”
Finally, the report emphasizes that Alberta must forge ahead with a more diverse economy that considers the environment, inclusive growth, export potential, just transitions, and reduced dependence on oil.
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Robin Shaban: 613-898-0026 (cell); firstname.lastname@example.org (email)
Garry Sran: 587-597-7726 (cell); email@example.com (email)