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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

alberta budgetary glory...

I went to Budget Day at the Alberta Legislature this afternoon. A longer recap will come soon, but some of the highlights in this compassionate budget of the people include:

-38% increase in a subsidy to Alberta's Horse Racing Industry.

-$400 Million Corporate tax cuts to Alberta Corporations (Who are clearly hurting and in need of a tax cut with $60 barrel oil...)

As well, Finance Minister Shirley McClellan's speeches are still as boring as dirt.

12 comments:

The Liberal Times said...

Yep more prosperity cheques on the way which equal deficit

Anonymous said...

a) the horse race subsidy is not a "subsidy"
b) cutting corporate income taxes ensures long-term economic diversification w/o having to subsidize or directly intervene in the economy

Aman...no prosperity cheques if there isn't additional funds beyond the surplus

and Mr. Daveberta...I hope you can explain for us how the president of the SU can harp about funds lacking for the PSE system when a) tuition is (god forbid) frozen and b) the advanced ed budget has grown by 30% over 3 years...

daveberta said...

hmmm. I love anonymous blog commentators. ;-)

I could argue with an anonymous blog commentator on the merits of corporate tax cuts, but I really don't have the interest.

As well, if you have questions for the SU President, I'm sure you can ask him if you really want to (I really don't profess to speak on behalf of him or any other individual).

But, my reaction...

a) Tuition hasn't been "frozen," but has been covered by the provincial government through Centennial Rebates to the University - the U of A BOG raised tuition by the max both this and last year, but the Alberta taxpayer, not the general student population, are covering the costs. As well, the question of what happens when the tuition rebates are discontinued is up in the air.

b) Yes, funding has gone up, but Alberta is still behind when you take into account the 20% growth in the student population over the past 10 years (during the cuts). Advanced Education is only now beginning to reach the levels of funding that existed in the pre-cut period in 1992/93 when the student population was 20% smaller - so funding to compensate for the growth in enrollment should be expected. As well, deferred maintenance is another important issue (of which the U of A has over $600 Million).

Julie said...

Anonymous obviously doesn't understand the purpose of a lobby organization...

Allie said...

I guess if thats the best you can do to complain about its a pretty good budget!

daveberta said...

well, some sort of vision for where the provincial government would like to take us in this age of prosperty would be appreciated.

Anonymous said...

All this vision "talk" is so empty it's not even funny. There is a vision for Alberta it was articulated in yesterday's budget in the section called "Strategic Plan". It outlines exactly what direction Alberta is going. I'd read it if I were you because it talks about the committment to a strong economy, an educated workforce, extensive R&D and investing in infrastructure.

Julie said...

"Strategic plans" and "business plans" look good on paper, but they don't really mean anything when a government is on auto pilot.

Anonymous said...

ok now honestly. if the best defence is yip yip "government on auto pilot"...please suggest what should and can be done differently.

Anonymous said...

how about serious REAL re-investments in Alberta communities - increased municipal funding, reinstatment of community lottery boards, and reinstatement of elected health authorities for starters.

Jim said...

"Yip Yip"?

Allie said...

Try reading the documents.

The Alberta government is the only provincial govt that has 3 year business plans, provides quarterly updates to thos business plans AND makes sure they all relate back to the 20 year strategic plan.

They're not soposed to look good on paper, they are supposed to be read.