Wednesday, November 16, 2011

To PST or not to PST

I had a dream last night that I was having an open conversation with Premier Redford.  Honest.  I asked her about what it's like governing then hit her with the PST thing.  I said, "I don't mind a PST, but you have to eliminate income taxes."  She wasn't all that open to it.  Then I said, "You guys have a spending problem, not a revenue problem."

But that Ron Liepert is something else isn't he? 

Yesterday:  To PST...

“In Alberta, we can’t continue to rely on resource revenues, and I think we should have that conversation sooner instead of later,” Liepert told EEDC’s (Edmonton Economic Development Corp.’s) 2012 economic outlook luncheon.

"So somehow it’s trying to close that gap between what’s expected to be a fairly flat revenue stream and increasing expenditures. And the only way you can get to a balanced budget is by closing that gap. That’s the challenge we’ve got ahead of us and we’ll be dealing with that over the next few weeks.”
Today:  Not to PST...
“First, in the interest of absolute clarity, Premier Redford, Deputy Premier Horner and all of my cabinet colleagues are committed to preserving Alberta’s “NO PST” status."   

Ok, so Ron was open to the idea because roundtable Albertans said so. Then the political fallout came and he was muzzled.

That coupled with the decision to have or not to have a legislative session this year, on flip flopping on the Heartland power lines, their made up tiff with the feds on funding of the Royal Alberta Museum, and lack of forcefulness on the Keystone XL pipeline don't compare with the fact that this gov't fails to look for ways to save on expenditures.

Especially when it spends 40% more per capita than Ontario and 30% more than BC for the same services.  And why is Alberta spending more on health care than the other provinces, except perhaps Newfoundland and Labrador, when it has the youngest population?  I can see if we had an aging one, which we do to an extent.

The issue here folks, is management.  Unlike other provinces, when you have the same party running the show for 40 years with little to no accountability, with high-wage baby boomers in administration and bureaucracy, new approaches to governing aren't discovered, no matter who the leader is.  And that party feeds the departmental bureaucracy in perpetual pocketlining each and every budget, but not asking them to look for ways to save or become more efficient.  I haven't heard it come out of Redford's statements or this party's statements that they'll streamline government.  They say Albertans are telling them.
"Round table participants are asking government to spend wisely and be more efficient including the delivery of healthcare and education. It will be these ideas that will be considered by the Alberta government caucus over the coming months, not a sales tax.”

Why do they even have to consult Albertans on this?  It's just a smokescreen folks.  How do they not know they have a spending problem when they haven't balanced the books in many, many years?  It's like they're not even trying and just going through the motions.

Why did they need to raid the Heritage Trust Fund to pay for budget items when much more in savings could easily be found if they just try?  Why? 

The last thing we need is more taxes.  It's a weak cop-out by a weak-willed government and party.

While I thought I'd give them a couple months chance to prove themselves, the premier I voted for, Redford and Co. have disappointed me at every turn, so for all that, I just ripped up my Alberta PC membership card.


Krysta said...

Dreaming about Redford at night, eh? :-)

I've always favoured taxes on goods and services over income tax. PST/GST is less of a disincentive for hard work and production. However, sales tax is much more visible to average voters on a daily basis, and just hard to sell as a popular idea with the electorate.

Anonymous said...

And you are wise to be afraid. PST/HST, as in other provinces, they have been are added, not replacement, taxes. What services do Canadians actually really need vs. want? I do hope that Alberta will lead a sanity review of government services and demand in 2014 that provinces who provide social programs that are not supported provincially are not part of the formula.