Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Alberta Budget Choice website sets us up for tax grab

What a joke.  We are being setup for a tax grab.  There's no doubt no whatsoever. is the website that lets us Albertans make decisions about the budget.  What a futile attempt.  Do you think they actually use this info?  They're duping us.

Ok, so I picked the oil price as it stands today ($62/barrel) and selected to cut everything they showed, without raising taxes, yet I still have a $1.7 billion deficit.

But wait a minute, there were so many others areas that could be cut that weren't presented.  MLA salaries?  Expenses?   Bureaucracy?

In fact, of the $42 billion that the Alberta gov't spends now, they can only find $3 billion (7%) to present on this website for cuts?  Am I missing something here?  This gov't is drunk on spending.

Reintroducing health care premiums is dumb. It's just a tax that really hurts the lower income the most.  As many companies used to cover this, it would dig into small businesses and employees.  It's not even an insurance program--just money that goes into general revenue and millions are spent on collecting it.

Increasing the corporate tax rate for big companies would drive them out, actually reducing revenues.

Introducing a sales tax?  Only if you eliminate the income tax or reduce it from 10 to 5%.  As well, there's a lot of folks from other provinces who buy big ticket items like vehicles in Alberta just to avoid the PST/HST.  Say goodbye to that injection into the economy.

So what's the answer?

Simple... cut more crap than just the 7%.  Have the guts to cut.  It's obvious Alison Redford won't "do whatever it takes".  They lied to us.  They don't deserve another year in office.

Here are my results.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Redford will introduce new taxes

Alison Redford said she "will do whatever it takes" to ensure the Alberta gov't is not so dependent upon the rollercoaster ride of resource revenues.

Then I see her on TV saying she'd rather not reintroduce health care premiums (re: a tax) and instead go after doctors who get paid 29% more on average than doctors in other provinces.  Yet the negotiations between the Alberta Medical Association and the gov't continue.  So let's blame the doctors and not your own bloated gov't.

Alberta provincial spending is the highest in the country (next to Newfoundland and Labrador).  The health care bureaucracy, let alone the government itself, is bloated and wasteful.  The Premier and her cabinet have not set a good example either, with the high expenses claims on trips.

Folks, we're being set up.  They've been in a deficit for many years and this year will be in well over $3 billion.  Mark my words, they WILL introduce a sales tax.  Every year, they toy with the idea and put a floating trial balloon out in the media to hear the response.

And you know what they'll do?  They'll say "We've listened to Albertans and they said it's time we had a sales tax, so we're not so dependent on resource revenues."

The thing is folks, they just can't say they've listened.  By law, they actually have no choice but to hold a referendum introduced by a cabinet member.  Spread the word.  Don't be fooled.

Here's the Act:

PreambleWHEREAS the people of Alberta want to maintain the Alberta Advantage;
WHEREAS Alberta is the only province in Canada that does not have a general provincial sales tax;
WHEREAS a general provincial sales tax is not a desirable tax; and WHEREAS the opinion of the people of Alberta should be obtained directly before any legislation that levies a general provincial sales tax is introduced;
THEREFORE HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, enacts as follows:
Referendum required1 A member of the Executive Council may introduce in the Legislative Assembly a Bill that imposes a general provincial sales tax only if, before the introduction of the Bill, the Chief Electoral Officer announces the result  if a referendum conducted under this Act on a question that relates to the imposition of the tax.
1995 cA-37.8 s1
Holding a referendum2 The Lieutenant Governor in Council may order the holding of a referendum that relates to the imposition of a general provincial sales tax.
1995 cA-37.8 s2
Question to be asked3 The question or questions to be put to the electors at a referendum held under this Act shall be determined by a resolution of the Legislative Assembly on the motion of a member of the Executive Council.
1995 cA-37.8 s3

h/t to Joe Albertan

It appears the opposition, particularly Danielle Smith (Wildrose) and Brian Mason (NDP) are definitely on top of things here.

Smith is basically saying exactly what I'm saying that the PCs are "softening us up for sales tax".

And Brian Mason is exactly correct:

NDP Leader Brian Mason said his party would oppose any move to a sales tax or resurrection of health care premiums.
He said they are regressive taxes that punish the low and middle income Albertans.
“we’re very much opposed to a sales tax and always have been, and I don’t think Albertans will accept that sort of solution.”
Mason also criticized the premier for linking the negotiations with the province’s doctors to the province’s consideration of bringing back the so-called health care premiums that raised nearly $1 billion annually for taxpayers.“It’s not the doctors’ fault. It’s not the teachers’’ fault. It’s not Albertans’ fault,” Mason said. “It’s the government’s fault that we’re in this mess.”