by Morinville News Staff

The Opposition Wildrose said Thursday that out-of-control spending, not low oil prices are to blame for what it calls the NDP’s broken balance sheet.

The Wildrose called on the government to immediately take steps to reduce spending, citing a new report from the Fraser Institute the Wildrose says confirms NDPspending rather than low oil prices is to blame for the province’s woes.

“It’s troubling to know the NDP could begin the process of righting our fiscal ship but doesn’t have the political will to do it,” Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said in a news release. “The government should be ashamed and embarrassed by this report and treat it like a wake-up call. Other provinces are taking action to reduce spending in these tough economic times, and we should also.”

The Wildrose say the new Fraser Institute study shows if previous governments had kept spending increases in-line with population growth and inflation, Alberta could have posted a budget surplus this year, despite low oil prices.

“Wildrose has put forward a plan to start getting spending under control while the NDP marches with its blinders on over the fiscal cliff,” Wildrose Shadow Finance Minister Derek Fildebrandt said in the same release. “You can borrow for today, you can borrow for tomorrow, but very soon we are going to hit a debt wall that is going to seriously jeopardize the ability of the government to provide important services. It’s time for the NDP to pull their heads out of the sand and show some leadership.”

The government is currently engaged in consultations and phone in meetings throughout the province. The road trip stops were by invitation and not open to the general public.

Two telephone phone-in meetings will be held Jan. 30 and 31. Northern Alberta’s will take place Jan. 30 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. with Premier Rachel Notley and Finance Minister Joe Ceci.

Those wishing to sign up to guarantee a place on the live telephone town hall can sign up at https://www.alberta.ca/budget-consultations.aspx#toc-0.

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