“One week into the provincial election, the governing NDP has committed nearly $3 billion in campaign promises, sums Premier Rachel Notley insists won’t break their budget bank.” (Calgary Herald, March 26, 2019)
In their 2015 election platform, the NDP promised a small surplus for 2018-19, and a $586 million surplus for 2019-20 (keep in mind that these estimates were released during the recession). Instead, the NDP has delivered record-breaking deficits, including a projected $7.9 billion deficit for this year.
“Rachel Notley’s balanced budget claims have zero credibility. Year after year, we’ve seen the NDP increase spending and push back their ‘path to balance’ plans. Rachel Notley and the NDP have set us on a path to nearly $100 billion in debt in the very near future,” said Jason Nixon, United Conservative candidate for Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre.
“The Premier claims her $3 billion in new spending promises in just the first week of the campaign won’t result in further deficit spending. The Premier is simply not being honest with Albertans. Rachel Notley and the NDP need to come clean on their secret plans to raise taxes before they ask Albertans for their vote.”
“We’ve seen this story before. Rachel Notley and the NDP never mentioned their carbon tax – the largest tax hike in Alberta history – during the last campaign. So what secret tax hike might the NDP have in store for Albertans should they win a second term? Rachel Notley must answer on this,” concluded Nixon.
The NDP’s ever-changing balanced budget promise
April 19, 2015: NDP leader Rachel Notley promised that the budget would be balanced in 2017 (Global News, Apr. 19, 2015)
April 21, 2015: NDP leader Rachel Notley clarifies that the budget would be balanced in 2018 (CBC, Apr. 21, 2015)
October 27, 2015: In their first budget plan, NDP Finance Minister Joe Ceci claims “we will balance the budget in 2019-2020.” (Budget 2015 speech)
March 22, 2018: In their most recent budget, NDP Finance Joe Ceci claims, “the province stays on track to balance the budget by 2023” (Budget 2018 speech)
NDP promises vs. NDP reality
NDP promise: $25 million surplus (NDP 2015 platform, p. 24)
NDP reality: $6.9 billion deficit (Q3 fiscal update, Feb. 2019, p. 36)
NDP promise: $586 million surplus (NDP 2015 platform, p. 24)
NDP reality: $7.9 billion deficit (Q3 fiscal update, Feb. 2019, p. 36)
What the experts are saying
Trevor Tombe, U of C economist: “The budget did contain hints of a potential path to a balanced budget. … But this does not constitute a plan. It lacks any credible detail. It’s an aspiration (barely).” (CBC, Mar. 24, 2018)
Ron Kneebone, U of C economist: “They lost an opportunity, again, to show Albertans they could be fiscally responsible and get their finances back on track” (Calgary Herald, Mar. 27, 2018)