Ceci hints at "drama free" Alberta provincial budget
Alberta Minister of Finance, Joe Ceci indicated "a drama free approach" to the upcoming Alberta provincial budget vowed to not add to the burden with risky tax cuts or new taxes.
The current budget is based off $45 oil and could spell a $5-10 billion deficit for Alberta. The current revenue forecast for the province is sitting at $43.1 billion. The province believes if the current recessionary pressures continue the forecast may drop even further in subsequent years.
Joe Ceci spoke at the CPA Alberta luncheon sponsored by Gallo and Company Chartered Professional Accountants.
Ceci said there will be no layoffs in the public sector indicating "it's odd to complain about layoffs in one area and demand layoffs in another area"
Ceci indicated that the provincial government is taking a variety of steps to help boost the economy. Some of these initiatives include:
- A $34 billion infrastructure building plan over 5 years.
- More capital funding to ATB to increase the accessibility of loans to small businesses.
- $50 million in venture capital funding.
- Continuing to advocate for new pipelines to further diversify the Alberta energy sector.
"We need a more diversified economy to support more revenue streams" said Ceci
One thing for certain is provincial sales tax is ruled out and the provincial government will manage that by bending the curve on expenses "Albertans don't want it" said Ceci.
The Finance Minister indicated the current economic blow has been softened thanks to performance in the Alberta agriculture industry and the weakening Canadian dollar which has increased the province’s exports to the US.
"Alberta has to be more resilient through these price drops...these precipitous swings have made it harder to plan for these price swings" signaled Ceci.
The current budget is expected to be released by the Alberta Government on April 14.