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Yesterday evening, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney told Albertans through a TV address that his government plans to invoke austerity as a way to combat job-losses and the increasing debt in the province.
Kenney told his audience, “Now, let’s be clear: this will not be an easy budget.” Additionally, due to the fiscal crisis in the province, Kenney went on to say that: “It will be the most important Alberta budget in 25 years.”
According to the Calgary Herald, Kenney expects that there will be a 10 percent shrink in the civil service, with some job losses. As well as this, benefit payments for some programs will no longer rise with inflation.
In Ontario, Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives have created a similar austerity program, which has proved to be unpopular amongst voters. The disapproval of Ford’s policy may have even contributed to the federal Conservative’s inability to gain a substantial number of seats in the province.
Unlike Ford, however, Kenney’s austerity measures will not affect health or education spending, which will remain at the same level. Due to this, the money will have to be found from other facets of Alberta’s government.
“When you decide not to cut health and education, which are two-thirds of the budget, you’ve got to find the savings from somewhere else. That would include better cash management when it comes to capital spending.”