Alberta Liberals: The Alberta Liberals’ fiscal plan will stabilize the province’s revenues, reduce personal and corporate income taxes, and encourage economic growth and diversification by shifting the tax burden from income taxation to a harmonized sales tax. We are committed to balancing the budget as soon as possible, and believe that our fiscal plan offers a credible path to achieving that objective while still protecting front-line services. However, we also feel it’s incredibly disingenuous of the NDP to say they’ll balance the budget by 2023 when they offer no detailed plan for how they’ll do that and their shaky claim is entirely dependent on a huge rebound in resource revenues that certainly isn’t guaranteed. Let’s not forget that the NDP, after forming government, also promised to deliver a balanced budget in 2018, then 2019, then 2023 – so such promises really don’t mean much. The UCP, in citing 2022 as their target, are being equally disingenuous without offering a detailed plan. We think voters deserve better than parties merely offering up arbitrary timelines for the sake of political expediency. In terms of paying off the debt, the Alberta Liberals will establish a legislated debt cap and a debt repayment plan. We will also discontinue the NDP practice of borrowing to pay for operational expenses.
Alberta Party: Our government would immediately implement recommendations of the Auditor General to provide a long-term view of the government’s liabilities. This change will be overdue in providing Albertans a more complete understanding of the province’s fiscal health. Government’s current reporting format is flawed because it does not provide the full picture of Alberta’s true financial health. As such, the change to reflect the Auditor General’s 2018 recommendations is overdue for Albertans so that they can have an honest discussion about their province’s future.
Furthermore, economists reviewing the fiscal proposals by both the NDP and UCP have found them to be flawed and unrealistic in their expectations. An Alberta Party government would recognize the significant demographic and social challenges faced by a growing and aging population, concurrent with increasing pressure from foreign jurisdictions to challenge Alberta’s opportunities. As such, an Alberta Party government’s first step will be to reduce barriers to growth and focus instead on growing economic opportunity which will result in more revenue for government programs. During year two of our mandate, our government will develop a comprehensive fiscal plan for Alberta’s future. This fiscal plan would be developed in consultation with Albertans, industry and stakeholders. Its objective would be to develop a long-term and sustainable framework for the province.
NDP: Rachel Notley is committed to a balanced fiscal approach. We will continue to appropriately fund core public services, diversify the economy, and we will bring down the deficit by keeping government spending growth to below population and inflation growth. We will balance the budget by 2023-24, and thereafter, we will consult with Albertans on their priorities, including how best to reduce debt.
UCP: United Conservatives recognize how important it is for the next government to reduce the debt burden and balance the budget. This means that we need to get Albertans back to work and incentivize investment back into our economy, while spending within our means.
A United Conservative government will seek to balance the budget over four years.
The comparison below uses the cautious, lower revenue projections provided by Stokes Economics. Using a realistic revenue scenario—including providing for risk adjustments in case energy revenues fall further—a United Conservative government will get to a balanced budget in 2022/23. Details of our plan can be found here.