“For the second quarter in a row, I am extremely disappointed to see this government has failed to make significant progress in controlling spending and reducing the massive $10.8 billion deficit,” said Progressive Conservative Interim Leader and Finance critic Ric McIver. “Today’s fiscal update shows that consumer spending is down significantly in Alberta, meaning that while Albertans are tightening their belts and adjusting to our economic reality, their government is incapable of making the difficult fiscal decisions they were elected to make.”
Also concerning is the fact that borrowing, and associated interest costs, are up from Budget 2016 estimates, with a $33 million increase in operating debt servicing costs alone. In total, Albertans will pay more than $1 billion in interest this year and the NDP still has no plan to pay off the principal.
“When Albertans take on debt, they have to have a plan to pay it back,” said McIver. “The fact that this government continues to borrow billions on behalf of Alberta taxpayers while having no plan to pay it back tells us everything we need to know about the NDP’s ability to be responsible fiscal managers. The mess this government has created in just 18 months will take decades to clean up – a responsibility that will ultimately fall to our children and grandchildren.”