The provincial budget continues to blame—and punish—Albertans for the mess created by the PC government. Massive increases to fees and cuts to core social services will be the price paid by the average Albertan.
“The government had an opportunity to right the ship, but instead they’ve only made matters worse,” said Joie Warnock, Unifor’s Western Director. “Almost every single new revenue measure targets exactly the wrong source.”
Alberta’s low corporate income tax remains unchanged. Royalty revenues, taxed at a rate lower than most jurisdictions, also remains the same. Conversely, fees and taxes that most Albertans pay out-of-pocket will increase, including a regressive new fee for healthcare.
“If Jim Prentice doesn’t blame Albertans for the deficit, then why is he punishing the middle class and the sick?” said Warnock.
Healthcare and education cuts will be felt most acutely by working families, according to Unifor. The budget forecasts a $1.904 billion cut to social services, including public sector job cuts of at least 2,000 full-time equivalents.
“The government has delivered the worst of both worlds: more costs and fewer services,” said Warnock.