Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Alberta posts $4.7 billion deficit (with years more to come)

Not much to say here that I haven´t said before. It may be useful to note Rick Bell´s observations, however: after voting themselves a big compensation increase, running up enormous expense bills, a 110% reversal on royalties, and deficit spending, the Tories are polling HIGHER than the level that landed them an overwhelming majority some 13 months ago.

Jack Mintz makes an observation I very unsuccessfully tried to communicate in the last election campaign: "the province has often resorted to pro-cyclical fiscal policy". Professor Mintz goes on to hope that "the government introduces an innovative fiscal plan that deals with inherent weaknesses that arise from a province reliant on volatile resource revenues. All Canadians should hope Alberta gets it right." Sorry, Jack, but the Tories not only failed to decrease the discretion with which they can fritter away resource revenue, they increased it, removing "the $5.3-billion cap on resource revenues that can be used for budget spending".

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