Cuts to public services will impact on all AlbertansEDMONTON—The Alberta Government’s 2015-16 budget was released today and brought in some modest changes to our revenue system that will increase the tax load on average Albertans without touching the huge tax benefits for wealthy individuals and corporations.
“Alberta could have fixed our unfair tax system, which still leaves us $10.6 billion lower in tax revenue than the second-lowest tax jurisdiction in Canada,” said Bill Moore-Kilgannon, Executive Director of Public Interest Alberta. “Instead, Alberta’s families will feel the impact of larger class sizes, fewer students enrolling in post-secondary education, seniors losing their drug benefits, and cities losing much-needed infrastructure funds.”
Low- and middle-income individuals and families will be directly impacted by the following cuts:
- A failure to provide funding for enrolment growth in our schools at a time when classrooms are already bursting at the seams.
- A cut to Support Services in our schools by $3 million, meaning even fewer support staff.
- Nearly $200 million cuts from the operational budget for Environment, including significant cuts to dealing with climate change.
- A cut of $59 million to the Seniors Drug Benefit.
- A further $80 million cut from post-secondary education, an area which is still reeling from the massive cuts made two years ago.
- A huge cut of $720 million to the Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI), which funds municipal infrastructure priorities including expansions of public transit (cut from $1.6 billion to $880 million).
- Elimination of 2,000 full-time equivalent jobs in the public service.
“Alberta is one of the wealthiest jurisdictions in the world,” added Moore-Kilgannon. “With this budget the government has failed to listen to Albertans and to invest in the public services we all need.”