Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan comments on the first United Conservative Party government budget.
Khan stated, “This looks to be a short-sighted budget that will inflict needless pain on Albertans. The UCP has decided to cut services. This is the wrong approach. There is a better way.
“The clear solution is a sales tax. Alberta Liberals suggested a revenue-neutral sales tax in the provincial election. Experts called it the most sensible economic policy of the campaign. It will get Alberta off the resource revenue roller coaster and allow for stable budgeting. It will also spare all Albertans the trauma of cuts and more job losses.
“Renowned economists like Jack Mintz and organizations like the C.D. Howe Institute and the Parkland Institute all endorse a sales tax in some form. But, Premier Kenney and the NDP Opposition won’t even discuss this practical, positive strategy to solve our spending issues. They have no political courage.
“The Alberta Liberal policy would generate $1 billion in new revenue from out-of-province visitors without raising net taxation on Albertans by one cent. The UCP can’t seem to figure that out. A revenue-neutral sales tax would also grow Alberta’s economy by taxing consumption—not production and investment.
“We can’t afford the human cost of UCP cuts. It’s time for Liberal forward-thinking fiscal policies. An Alberta Liberal budget would focus on four key priorities: 1- creating a more sustainable healthcare system focusing on prevention; 2 - investing in our future by investing in education; 3 - generating jobs and wealth through tax reform and free-market principles; 4 - combating and preparing for the consequences of climate change.”
“The UCP Government believes you must have pain to make gain. That is wrong. There is a better way. Alberta Liberals have practical and positive ideas to balance the Budget. We will not punish Albertans.”
David Khan is available for media interviews today in the Legislature Rotunda after the Budget is tabled or by phone.