U.S. Markets open in 4 hrs 8 mins

Budget cuts much deeper and more damaging than Kenney admits, says AFL

'Jason Kenney is playing games with numbers,' says Gil McGowan, AFL president

EDMONTON, Alberta, Oct. 24, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The following is a statement from the Alberta Federation of Labour.

Today’s budget cuts will be much deeper than Kenney admits.  The reality is Kenney is misleading Albertans when he claims he is only cutting 2.8 per cent.  With increases in the cost of living and population growth these cuts are much more likely to be around 15 per cent - very close to the level of the Klein cuts in the 90s.

Kenney blew a huge hole in the budget with his corporate tax cuts, the $4.5 billion giveaway to profitable corporations.  We’ve seen large corporations like Husky Energy cut hundreds of jobs after receiving a $233 million gift from the UCP.  Now the most vulnerable Albertans, like people on AISH, along with post-secondary students, public-sector workers and cities are being asked to pay for these corporate tax giveaways.

Kenney’s cuts are bad for the economy because to build a strong economy, we need modern infrastructure to keep our businesses moving.  And we need top-quality health care and education to build and maintain a healthy, skilled workforce.  A strong public sector is a vital part of our economy’s foundation.

Premier Kenney’s budget risks tipping Alberta into a self-inflicted “Kenney Recession” that could be worse than the economic crisis caused by the drop in worldwide oil prices.

QUOTES:

“Jason Kenney is playing games with numbers. He’s trying to mislead Albertans.  The province is growing and our public services are already under funded.  A freeze is a cut and 2.8 per cent is a deeper cut.  Comparing his 2.8 per cent cut to Ralph Klein’s cuts of 18 per cent is inaccurate, when you account for inflation and population growth the Kenney cuts could be closer to 15 per cent.”

“These cuts risk the ‘Kenney Recession.’  While previous recessions have been caused by external market forces that are largely beyond the control of the government of Alberta and independent of its policy choices, the hardship that will be caused by the Kenney government’s ill-considered deficit elimination strategy will be entirely self-inflicted.”

“Kenney’s cuts are bad for the economy because to build a strong economy, we need modern infrastructure to keep our businesses moving.  And we need top-quality health care and education to build and maintain a healthy, skilled workforce.  A strong public sector is a vital part of our economy’s foundation.”

Gil McGowan, President, Alberta Federation of Labour

MEDIA CONTACT:
Ramona Franson
Director of Communications, AFL
rfranson@afl.org