Friday, March 27, 2015

We Are LIving in Bazzaro World

 Image result for Prentice and Couillard

 There were two provincial budgets came down yesterday.  One budget was not a balanced budget with an historic deficit, more spending, and a rise in taxes pretty well across the board.  The other budget came in as balanced and a reduction in taxes.  One budget came from Quebec and the other one came from Alberta.  Guess which one is which.

The one you would think that was balanced and that reduced taxes would be Alberta but it isn't.  It's Quebec.  The one with more spending and historic deficit is Alberta.  Things have been turned upside down.  Here is the highlights of both budgets.

EDMONTON – The province unveiled its 2015-2016 budget Thursday afternoon. Here are some of the highlights:

The bottom line

Total spending of $48.4 billion on revenue of $43.4 billion for a $5-billion deficit – the largest in Alberta’s history. The deficit will be covered mainly by the province’s contingency fund.

End of the flat tax

Alberta will end its 10 per cent flat income-tax rate and phase in two new tax brackets for those making more than $100,000 or $250,000 a year. The change will affect about 330,000 workers.

Health levy

Individuals making more than $50,000 a year will have to pay a health-care levy, effective July 1. The amount will be tied to income and capped at $1,000 annually. The levy is to be collected through the income-tax system and won’t be paid by employers.

Gasoline tax

The gasoline tax jumps four cents a litre on Friday. The government notes Alberta’s gas tax has not been raised since 1991 and remains the lowest in the country.

Smokes and booze

It will cost 16 cents more for a bottle of wine and 90 cents more for a case of 12 beers starting Friday. The tax on a carton of cigarettes will go up by $5 to $45.

Tax breaks for the working poor

Families earning less than $41,220 a year will be eligible for a supplement for each child, to a maximum of $2,750 each year. The government says about 75,000 families will be eligible.

Fees aplenty

Fees are going up for everything from camping to court filings and marriage certificates. Traffic fines are being boosted by an average of 35 per cent.

Job cuts in government

The government plans to shed 2,016 full-time jobs across all departments. Most of those positions are already vacant and will not be filled. About 370 layoffs are expected.
© The Canadian Press, 2015


  1. Prentice has always struck me as a quintessential "I am here to save you from yourself and the world from you" Progressive. Pretty much an empty suit who thinks that a cabal of equally empty suits should run everything. Pray he doesn't run for and win the federal Conservative leadership.

    1. I agree with you. There is nothing conservative about the PC party. They should drop the "Conservative" from their name and just call themselves the "Progressive Party."
      I think a better choice for federal leader whenever PMSH decides to retire is Jason Kenny. I like him better and I believe he would do a good job.

    2. And I agree with you. Kenny has the backbone required to be a true Conservative. I don't see anyone else, at the moment, who has the experience and fortitude to carry on what Steven Harper has started,

    3. Problem is that he's an Albertan. Two in a row will translate into serious problems in the centre of the universe and environs.

  2. I am guessing the government probably ran a poll and find big cuts wouldn't be popular. Lets remember the debate has shifted to the left quite a bit since the 90s in Canada as well as Alberta's demographics are quite different too. So my guess is the big cuts will come after the election. In Ontario the OLP ran on a massive spending budget and that the budget would magically balance itself but now they have their majority the cuts will come. As for ending the flat tax, its really not too big a deal as of the OECD countries, only in the former Eastern bloc satellite states is it common so its not overly harmful as long as the top rate is lower than every other province, which I believe it still is. Also an HST would be logical too as Alberta is the only province without a sales tax and globally the United States is the only developed country without a VAT and ironically has the highest corporate tax rate too in the OECD. A better thing would be cut taxes for low and middle income residents as they are likely to spend most of that in the economy thus creating spinoffs.

    1. I don't believe there will be big cuts after the election, The last few Alberta PC governments have not been known as cutters. It has been the exact opposite. They have been big spenders. The only way a sales tax would be ok here is if they would eliminate income taxes.

    2. There may not be big cuts, but that could also be there just isn't much appetite. As for bringing in a sales tax and eliminating the income tax, that would be silly unless the sales tax was really high. The reality is most Albertans like Canadians still want a good education system and health care system so cutting taxes to such level would just create more problems. While some US states do this, they also don't have universal health care like we do and their public education system is quite poor in quality too. The main thing with taxes is you have enough to fund important programs, but not so high it can be wasted on other things. With income inequality unfortunately being a big issue for many, I think there is strong pressure to soak the rich, so the best governments can do now is prevent that. Any tax change that makes it worse just won't fly politically at the moment. It worked in the 90s as economic growth was much stronger so those in lower and middle incomes had strong reason to believe they would one day be wealthy whereas now far fewer feel the same sense of optimism.

    3. Actually, a fair few of us are convinced that there is a lot of fat that could easily be cut out of the senior echalions of Alberta Health Services, not to mention in the head offices of most education boards. Was referred to a specialist working out of the former Alberta Childrens' Hospital in Calgary. To get to said specialist, had to check in at the main desk, be referred to a secondary desk to someone who actually checked my credentials and printed out a form, head up to the next floor, check in at the main desk at that floor, and then check in at the relevant clinic area (which housed three workers). I will allow the last three workers as being necessary; offices of both my doctor and my cats' vet have about the same staffing up front, though I suspect the AHC front staffers don't involve any techs or nurses (veterinary or otherwise). So AHC could clear out whole areas of paper-pushers, making the lives of patients easier and - heaven forbid - even freeing up money to improve front-line care.


This is my home. I hope you respect it. I will not tolerate profanity or anything that is not suitable for family consumption.