Media releases | February 09, 2012

EDMONTON—Public Interest Alberta is at the Alberta Legislature reviewing details for the 2012-2013 budget and agrees with the Finance Minister when he called this budget bittersweet.While we are pleased to see the government follow through on its commitment to increase AISH by $400 per month, other supports for low income people are being reduced. It is very troubling to see cuts to funding for new affordable housing units in their capital fund from $123 million to $43 million, when the province is still professing commitment to a 10-year plan to eliminate homelessness.For seniors, while there are modest increases to some seniors' benefits the government has cut their funding to seniors' housing from $75 million to $25 million at a time when we need more housing for our growing seniors population.The government also says it has a commitment to expand our post-secondary education budget but we see an operating budget increase of only 2%, which does not address two years without increases and the accompanying inflation and population growth.It is unfortunate to see that the government is not willing to address the revenue problems before the election. Albertans deserve high quality public services, instead of a system that is struggling with increasing demands from our growing population and years of underfunding.-30-Media Contact:Bill Moore-Kilgannon, Executive Director, Public Interest Alberta, 780-993-3736