LIBERAL LEADER DAVID SWANN CALLS FOR ECONOMIC STIMULUS
Alberta Liberal Leader David Swann outlined his recommendations for stimulating the economy in reaction to the lack of action being taken by the NDP.
“I heard little in today’s fiscal update to suggest that the NDP has a strategy to get our economy moving,” says Swann. “They were well aware that the economy was slowing when they were first elected. Yet, after more than three months in office, they are still holding their cards to their chest. You can only do that for so long before someone calls your bluff.”
Swann’s comments come as the government provided its first quarter fiscal and economic update which confirmed that the Alberta economy is expected to retract, while showing a projected deficit of $5.9 billion, and an approximate $20 billion drop in investment in oil and gas from last year. Economic forecasts are also showing a decline in retail spending versus last year.
Alberta Liberals recommend the following measures:
· Boost infrastructure spending to repair Alberta’s roads, bridges, and hospitals and build new schools, waste water facilities, affordable housing, and public transit. This spending can and should be debt financed, provided that the government provides a clear debt repayment plan.
· Stimulate job creation by phasing out the small business tax. Lower the small business tax immediately by one percentage point and reduce it by a further one percentage point in each subsequent year until it is eliminated.
· Continue to support and encourage economic diversification by shielding new technology initiatives under Innovation and Advanced Education from any significant cuts in the upcoming provincial budget.
· Scrap plans to give businesses $10,000 for low wage hiring – which is not a sustainable approach to job creation.
· Financial incentives to encourage the creation of new, clean technologies in the private sector.
“The reality is that Alberta remains on the resource revenue roller-coaster,” says Swann. “Unless action is taken to stimulate and diversify the economy and fix our broken fiscal structure, we are going to find ourselves back in this kind of fiscal situation again and again.”