Provincial budget overlooks small business
Provincial Budget 2012
Richard Truscott, Alberta Director, reacts to the budget.
CFIB sought action in Budget 2012 to maintain Alberta's tax advantage, control operating expenditures, balance the budget and cut the regulatory burden on small businesses. Instead the government presented a budget full of pre-election spending and failed to make a sustained, long-term commitment to cutting red tape for entrepreneurs.
Budget highlights include:
- $1.3 billion deficit this year, and $880 million in the 2012-13 fiscal year
- No new taxes, but also no plan for tax relief over the longer-term
- Increased program spending - up about 7% in 2012-13
- A review of the fiscal framework including: taxes, savings, and spending, but only after the upcoming election
Overall, the budget boosted spending, provided no tax relief, and pushed back the goal of returning to a balanced budget an additional year, leaving Alberta in the fifth consecutive year of deficits. We are also concerned that the government is basing future revenues on overly optimistic forecasts of resource revenue and economic conditions.
The government's reserve funds will go from a high of $17 billion a few years ago to just over $2 billion in 2014.
CFIB will continue to lobby the government to design a new small-business friendly fiscal framework prior to the next election.