Media releases | March 22, 2018
The Alberta government has released its 2018 budget, which includes effective cuts to most areas of public services, as spending fails to keep pace with inflation and population growth.
 
"The piecemeal cuts to public services in the budget take Alberta in the wrong direction, but the striking thing is what is not in the budget," said Joel French, Executive Director of Public Interest Alberta. "Absent are many things Albertans need, like improved classroom conditions in schools and addressing the shortage of long-term care beds for seniors."

French pointed to low government revenues as the reason for those absences. However, the government’s budget documents continue to claim the inability of Alberta’s tax system to raise sufficient revenue as an "advantage."

"Our inferior tax system is not an advantage," added French. "It is, in fact, the source of the problems in this budget. The tax system of any other province in the country would raise Alberta at minimum an additional $11.2 billion per year. We need to renovate our tax system to protect and revitalize our public services, and that means a province-wide discussion about changes to our personal income tax system and a sales tax."

The budget also continues the status quo for Alberta’s spending on public subsidies for private schools.

"At a time when public services for all Albertans are subject to piecemeal cuts, it is bewildering that private school subsidies are still flowing at such a generous rate," said French. "It is a stark case of wasteful spending in the budget, where more than $100 million that should be spent on improving public school classroom conditions is instead handed out to private schools."
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Media Contact:
Joel French, Executive Director
Phone: 780-420-0471
E-mail: communications@pialberta.org