April 16, 2015

Fildebrandt says Prentice is making up fiscal policy on the fly based on polls

Marc PatroneRebel Commentator

A move to bring in a freeze on some public service salaries is being greeted with cynicism by Wildrosers who say PC leader Jim Prentice is starting to panic.

Prentice says he's going to freeze the salaries of provincial government managers for three years; a move originally rolled out and then scuttled by former Premier Alison Redford.

Wildrose fiscal hawk Derek Fildebrandt says it's a sign Prentice is making up fiscal policy as he goes in the hopes of salvaging a campaign that appears to be spinning its wheels.

"Jim Prentice runs to the left on Tuesday and to the right on Wednesday, he's going to flip back and forth according to the polls but what he's shown is he has no centre of gravity in terms of what he actually believes. Didhe not believe that we needed to freeze the pay and perks of managers in government just a couple of weeks ago when he introduced a budget, or do does he only believe that now? He's making his decision based on polls not on what he believes, not on what is necessary for Alberta," says Fildebrandt.

There are signs the Tories are having little success selling a budget that includes tax hikes.

Fildebrandt says he wouldn't be surprised if other parts of the current budget are changed during the campaign in a bid to help the PCs which some polls suggest, are running third.

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commented 2015-04-16 22:50:57 -0400
Thanks, Valerie, but I’d abdicate before taking the job. I’m a tech, and suck at politics…
commented 2015-04-16 22:17:24 -0400
Mark Borzel – I’d vote for you for Premier before I’d even consider Prentice. You have a clear picture of the problem in Alberta. It’s mismanagement, pure and simple.
commented 2015-04-16 22:14:29 -0400
Prentice’s biggest problem is, nobody likes him. He tried to destroy the Wildrose Party then, in a dirty and tyrannical maneuver, immediately called an election. I’ve never seen filthier politics than those played by Prentice. I don’t trust him one iota and wouldn’t vote for him if his name was the only one on the ballot – which is, of course, just the way he’d like it.
commented 2015-04-16 20:32:54 -0400
Alberta, under Ralph Klein, retired the provincial debt. Then he and his party passed a law that the provincial government MUST live within its means — keep a balanced budget. And here’s where the provincial Tories started to go off the rails — oil prices climbed. The provincial income increased, but instead of putting it all away in the Heritage Fund like they were supposed to, there APPEARED to be just too much money. So they started increasing the budget, based on higher and higher oil prices. First it was at $20/bbl under Klein. Then the budget rose to $40/bbl, then to $80/bbl, then to $120/bbl (when oil was at record highs in excess of $140/bbl. The budget increased, the spending increased, the bureaucracy increased… all the while the government was counting on oil prices NEVER falling.

Then oil fell. It dropped to $120/bbl, then $100/bbl, and settled out around $80-90/bbl. All of a sudden, the provincial budget was insufficient. (Why? Why couldn’t they have pegged the budget at $60/bbl AND LEFT IT THERE, making money hand over fist into the Heritage Fund? But, they were short-sighted and stupid.) This was Stelmach’s and Redford’s era.

THEN, Saudi Arabia decides to open the taps, and forces oil from $90/bbl down to $40 — half of what it had been, and the budget, in essence, also slashed in half. (Again, why, when they could have taken a loss of only 30% ($60-20), instead of 50% or more? AND still had all that money in the Heritage Fund, which is pretty much depleted right now…)

So now Prentice is NOT taking the “hack and slash” approach which is clearly needed with our bureaucracy, and instead is still trying to prop up the provincial budget at $80/bbl — when we have absolutely NO indication it’s going back up any time soon.

WHO is fiscally responsible?
commented 2015-04-16 19:47:22 -0400
Has anybody got anything nice to say about Prentis? Silence.
commented 2015-04-16 18:59:21 -0400
I was thinking the same! Prentice changes his platform daily as he gets feedback. Furthermore, he is incredibly arrogant to be promoting a 10 year plan…that presumes he will win this and the next two elections. If Alberta has any luck Prentice will be out of office within the next 3 weeks or at the very least diminished to a minority government.
commented 2015-04-16 16:59:35 -0400
I agree completely. Yesterday I received a PC flier in the mail and it is ridiculous!
Most of the “Promises” are for “X” amount over 3 – 5 years.
He will balance the budget … after 3 more years of deficits.
He will start to “break the boom and bust cycle” in 2019 … probably after he asks for a new mandate.
He will double the Heritage Trust Fund … by 2024! Yup you got that right! At 8% over 9 years the fund could double itself!
In my personal opinion it is ALL LIES and if he is re-elected he will just continue his track record of waste and incompetence! >.<