Alberta NDP Minister of Finance Joe Ceci made an announcement on the upcoming 2016-2017 budget and it’s not good.
According to the Minister, the province will add another $197 million to the current 2015-2016 budget, bringing the Alberta deficit up to $6.3 billion.
That’s not all of the bad news - the deficit for the next year will almost double from what was originally proposed to be $5.4 billion to $10.4 billion dollars. And it’s because the NDP banked on $61 per barrel oil prices instead of being more realistic and leaning more toward the $40 mark.
There are ways to decrease deficits during down turns when the price of oil is low, but the NDP just won’t have it. Ceci stated that they will be freezing salaries, but operational costs will increase. With oil prices continuing to fall and investments in the oil and gas sector expected to decrease 20% in 2016, we will see more of the same doom and gloom.
I thought Joe Ceci sounded really nervous today in his delivery. He didn’t even commit to saying the total deficit of $10.4 billion, only mentioning that the province would increase the deficit by $5 billion dollars. He even confirmed that the budget won’t be balanced by the end of 2019-2020, as promised.
But hey, I guess we’re not getting a provincial sales tax. Yet.