February 08, 2017

Fraser Institute on Alberta’s budget deficit: Blame bad spending habits, NOT low oil prices

Holly NicholasRebel Commentator

The Fraser Institute has released a report that shows low oil prices in Alberta aren’t the issue when it comes to the deficit. 

According to the report, government program spending is the culprit having increased an average of 7.1% per year between 2004 and 2015, while revenues only increased at an average rate of 4.6%.

And though this problem started long before the NDP came into the picture, they’re making it worse.

Program spending will increase by 7.5%, including the expenses accumulated from the Fort MacMurray wildfires. While it’s true the province had to increase spending to cover the costs of a natural disaster, this could have been mitigated by decreasing spending on other programs like healthcare, the biggest line item in Alberta’s budget.

I spoke with one of the report authors, Ben Eisen, via email and asked him how we can dispel some of the common myths surrounding low oil prices and program cuts.

With regard to low oil prices, he says things would have been manageable “if we had managed spending choices differently in recent years.”

Then there’s the common assumption that reducing program spending means sacrificing quality but again, Eisen says that “without [fiscal management], it actually can become harder to fund high quality public services over time.”

The bottom line? The Progressive Conservatives overspent on public programs, but the NDP are just making things worse.

The PC’s and the new government should have taken a page out of Ralph Klein’s book in the 90’s when he reduced spending by being prudent even during times when oil prices were low, which resulted in surpluses and tax reductions.

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commented 2017-02-12 18:43:38 -0500
Politicians are entitled to their entitlement.They should be ashamed with the amount of tax we pay on fuel to add a carbon tax.Sadly no. The main problem is that the taxes that are collected do not go for what it was collected for or our roads would be paved with gold.
commented 2017-02-09 01:50:28 -0500
Ralph was the best.
commented 2017-02-09 01:50:07 -0500
Leviticus the ALCB was a joke and the government still gets their cut form booze. And the government runs things horribly.
commented 2017-02-08 13:37:16 -0500
Peter , my work boots are not pointed but they are Alberta Strong and will leave a lasting imprint !!!!
commented 2017-02-08 12:50:11 -0500
Peter… Don’t miss Ralph too much because you have to remember he sold off all Alberta’s corporations like AGT ALCB our Northwestern utilities our gas and more to private interest…
That was a short-term fix the cost the province a lot of revenue.!!!
commented 2017-02-08 12:33:02 -0500
I begrudge Getty, Redford and Stelmach for every bite they stuff in their mouthes. Alberta yearns for a truly fiscally responsible, business friendly leader. Ndp are gone in 2019, I believe. I wonder who threw them all the cash, they run a very close second to Wildrose.
commented 2017-02-08 11:38:20 -0500
Ron said, “My steel toed work boots can’t wait to kick these socialist scum out of Alberta !!!!!!”

Hopefully they are pointed like a cowboy boot to maker the deepest possible impression.
commented 2017-02-08 11:36:01 -0500
Yes, Holly, the spending was really bad even before the NDP took office.

That is exactly why Albertans kicked out the PCs. Unfortunately, the NDP are far FAR worse than the PCs were at their worst. At this point I would rather have the high spending “Liberal Lite” PCs than the NDP destroyers if only give a choice between the two. At least the PCs were friendly towards business.

Holly, I am glad you mentioned Ralph Klein. In several comments throughout the years I have used him as a prime example of what the PCs were like and should still be like until they became very corrupt starting with Getty.

Damn, I miss Ralph Klein!
commented 2017-02-08 11:18:25 -0500
My steel toed work boots can’t wait to kick these socialist scum out of Alberta !!!!!!
commented 2017-02-08 10:53:27 -0500
Yes HOLLY , agreed

We cannot afford these suicide cannibals in for another term

Please right , unite in time

Send them a message and vote right in the civic and lesser elections. This fall