Tax burden for the average Alberta family set to grow

Albertans currently work 137 days of the year to fund government before pocketing a single dollar for themselves

Tax burden for the average Alberta family set to growBy Steve Lafleur Ben Eisen and Charles Lammam The Fraser Institute Alberta is typically thought of as a low-tax jurisdiction in Canada. That’s largely true. However, Alberta’s tax advantage will likely shrink in the future with a recent onslaught of tax increases – some already implemented, some soon to come. But even today, the tax…

Notley government doubles down on spending, refuses to change course

Ignores root cause of Alberta’s deteriorating fiscal position – runaway spending

Notley government doubles down on spending, refuses to change courseBy Ben Eisen Charles Lammam and Steve Lafleur The Fraser Institute “We are in a different situation than we were six months ago,” said Finance Minister Joe Ceci after unveiling Alberta’s 2016 budget. He’s right. Alberta’s fiscal outlook has worsened dramatically since the government’s October 2015 budget. The province now faces larger and sustained budget…

To limit its debt, Alberta must restrain its spending

The spending choices it makes will have a substantial effect on how much debt is passed along to future Albertans

To limit its debt, Alberta must restrain its spendingBy Steve Lafleur Ben Eisen and Milagros Palacios The Fraser Institute This year, Alberta’s government will return to a net financial debt position for the first time since 1999/2000. It remains an open question, however, exactly how much debt Alberta will accumulate. Public attention has focused on the possibility that lower-than-expected government revenues may lead…

Say goodbye to the Alberta Tax Advantage

Misguided policies eroding Alberta’s tax advantage

Say goodbye to the Alberta Tax AdvantageBy Steve Lafleur and Ben Eisen The Fraser Institute Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci recently told a business audience that Alberta has the “lowest taxes overall of any province or territory” in Canada. A year ago, this was unambiguously true. At that time, Alberta had the lowest overall tax burden in the country and also…

Cash from Ottawa won’t solve Alberta’s deficit problems

Low oil prices aren’t what’s driving Alberta’s fiscal troubles

Cash from Ottawa won’t solve Alberta’s deficit problemsBy Steve Lafleur and Ben Eisen The Fraser Institute The federal government recently announced that it may provide up to $250 milliont to the Province of Alberta under a little-known fiscal stabilization program meant to assist provinces that see sharp declines in government revenue. There’s no doubt that low oil prices have hit the province’s…

Kudos, and caveats, for Alberta’s royalty review

The recommendation that the provincial government “seize opportunities to enhance value-added processing” could turn into a fiasco

Kudos, and caveats, for Alberta’s royalty reviewBy Kenneth P. Green and Steve Lafleur The Fraser Institute On Friday, Jan. 29, the Government of Alberta released the long-anticipated report of the Royalty Review Advisory Panel. The review, a campaign promise by the NDP government, was the source of some anxiety in the province. As evidenced in a recent Fraser Institute bulletin, investor…

Oil is a blessing for Alberta – not a curse

Even in bad times, Alberta benefits significantly from its natural resources

Oil is a blessing for Alberta – not a curseBy Steve Lafleur and Kenneth P. Green The Fraser Institute Ever since oil prices began declining from historic highs, it’s become fashionable to claim that Alberta – and Canada – bet it all on oil and lost. It’s an “I told you so” narrative for those who view natural resources as a curse, rather than…

Another rating agency tells Alberta to take ‘corrective fiscal action’

Moody’s join Standard & Poor’s to warn of rapid debt accumulation

Another rating agency tells Alberta to take ‘corrective fiscal action’By Steve Lafleur and Ben Eisen The Fraser Institute Moody’s Investors Service has changed Alberta’s credit rating outlook to negative. While it has left the province’s Aaa credit rating intact – for now – the agency warned that the rating faces “downward pressure if the province fails to execute a fiscal plan that demonstrates an…

Alberta wage freeze good first step in getting finances back on track

But even bolder steps to reduce provincial spending needed if the province is not to face greater fiscal challenges down the road

Alberta wage freeze good first step in getting finances back on trackBy Steve Lafleur and Ben Eisen The Fraser Institute Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci recently announced a wage freeze for public-sector managers and non-unionized public employees. The freeze will maintain 2015 salary levels for 7,000 employees until “at least April 2018.” While this is a welcome first step, the estimated $57 million in savings over…

Bad economic news just keeps hammering Alberta

The collapse in oil prices aggravated by Notley government’s economically damaging policies

Bad economic news just keeps hammering AlbertaBy Steve Lafleur and Ben Eisen The Fraser Institute The year 2015 was a difficult one for Alberta’s economy. First, the province was hit by a major decline in oil prices. Then, the provincial government introduced a slew of economically damaging policies, tarnishing Alberta’s reputation for providing a pro-growth tax and regulatory environment. These policies…