The Shotgun Blog
Tuesday, December 07, 2010
CTF to Morton: Time to cut spending
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) presented Alberta’s Finance Minister Dr. Ted Morton with its 2011-12 pre-budget submission late yesterday, along with the message to the finance minister that it was time to start cutting spending.
“This is 1988 all over again,” said CTF Alberta director Scott Hennig.“Despite the provincial government running record deficits, to date they have been unwilling to make any tough decisions. Plans to balance the budget don’t mean a thing unless action is taken.”
In its submission entitled “Roadmap to a Balanced Budget,” the CTF makes 25 recommendations to the provincial government for short, medium and long term solutions to balance the budget and put the province back on the right fiscal track.
“Wage freezes for senior staff and hiring freezes aren’t going to fill a $5 billion hole in the budget,” said Hennig. “And they’re not going to fill next year’s $3.8 billion hole either.”
The CTF estimates the Alberta government could have a $3.8 billion deficit in 2011-12, based on current prices for oil, natural gas and the exchange rate. This is over three times more than the $1.1 billion deficit currently projected for 2011-12 by the Stelmach government.
Some of the recommendations in the CTF’s 2011-12 pre-budget submission include:
• a 5 per cent operational spending cut across all ministries;
• extending the three-year capital plan over five years; • negotiating a 5 per cent roll back of government worker’s wages;
• consider unpaid days off for non-essential government employees;
• elimination of the carbon capture and storage program as well as the green transit (TRIP) funding;
• reversing the 2008 MLA pay hike; • reducing the size of cabinet;
• close entry to existing defined-benefit employee pension plans and create new defined-contribution pension plan; • no more borrowing or bond issues for capital.
“This government has spent itself into a position where making cuts is the only option left. They cannot delay any longer, cuts need to be made,” concluded Hennig.
The CTF’s 2011-12 pre-budget submission can be downloaded here.
Posted by Matthew Johnston on December 7, 2010 | Permalink
All Morton has confirmed is that he intends to play both sides of the road to suit his ends. When running for the leadership, he called himself a fiscal conservative. Since joining the cabinet and becoming treasurer, he has embarked on a free spending program that is breath-taking. Like Stockwell Day before him, Morton is a glad-handing politicians, out to buy as many votes as he has dollars to spend. He is a sugar daddy of the first order, and he wants everyone to know about it.
Posted by: AB Patriot | 2010-12-07 3:46:18 PM
That is the situation at the provincial level in Alberta. Now just think about it being repeated all across Canada for every level of government from federal to local without a single one balancing the budget or spending within their means. I sometimes wonder what it will take for this to end. Probably it will require the cow to go dry, and we, the tax payers, are the cow.
Posted by: Alain | 2010-12-07 7:05:21 PM
And no doubt Morton will challenge for the leadership when Stelmach resigns -- very soon. Of course, Morton will trumpet his conservatism, but all the while he has been doling out billions for everything. Morton intends to buy the leadership and will use tax monies to do it. Wildrose must denounce him, because he will be the leader in the next six months to one year.
Posted by: AB Patriot | 2010-12-07 8:31:16 PM
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