EDMONTON –Prentice’s 2015 budget asks regular Albertans to pay more out of pocket, while they get less of vital public services like education, health care, child protection services and post-secondary education, New Democrat Leader Rachel Notley said today.
“The PCs have not only proposed a Waiting Room Tax—today they’ve added a Driving Tax, a Mortgage Tax and a Marriage Tax. This government is willing to do anything to ensure the largest corporations continue to enjoy tax holidays and so they’re balancing the budget on the backs of regular, hard-working, Alberta families,” said Notley.
These taxes will hit working and middle income families the hardest while deliberately refusing to rollback their tax cuts for the most profitable corporations.
The 2015 provincial budget shows a total cut of approximately $1 billion to the overall health care budget, including over $300 million to patient care and $60 million to seniors drug benefits.
“Right now people are waiting up to 70 hours to be admitted to hospital. Kid’s surgeries are being cancelled because there isn’t any room for them and hundreds of seniors are trapped in the hospital waiting for a long term care bed. Instead of doing the right thing and fixing our health care system, this government’s priority is preserving tax breaks for the most profitable corporations.
Prentice is also cutting classroom supports in K-12 by approximately $90 million. At the same time he will not hire a single new teacher for the 12,000 new students expected this year, pushing up class sizes.
“Instead of investing in the vital public services Albertans rely on, Prentice and the PCs are slashing funding to education and health care. They’re asking Alberta families to pay more and get less,” said Notley.
“It is particularly insulting that while they work so hard to defend profitable corporations, they are cutting close to $60 million dollars from child protective services. This clearly shows that this government has the wrong priorities.”