Alberta Budget Surplus of $12.3 Billion Will Fund Affordability Package: Finance Minister

EDMONTON – Alberta Finance Minister Travis Toews announced Thursday at a press conference that Alberta has a $12.3 billion surplus in the 2022-23 central budget. This is much higher than the forecast in February which was only 511 million dollars.

Toews said the surplus will allow the province to provide significant assistance to Albertans and their families so they can “keep more money in their pockets for groceries, gas, utilities and costs.” everyday life.”

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith has pledged $2.4 billion in the current and future fiscal years for a variety of support and inflation relief measures aimed primarily at middle- and low-income families, seniors and the vulnerable. A $600 benefit will be sent to some Albertans over the next six months, including families with children under 18 making less than $180,000, seniors, and those receiving income support, income -guaranteed income for the severely disabled, and other public benefits. There will also be a six-month moratorium on fuel taxes in the provinces.

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Toews determined that the cost-relief measures will be funded by current surpluses, with no withdrawals from the Heritage Savings Trust Fund or retirement plans. “Our government is the first government that reinvests the income from the Heritage Savings Trust in the fund,” said the minister.

The minister suggested that if Heritage Savings had been left in the Trust Fund since its inception the investment income, with no additional contributions made and no withdrawals, would be $270 billion. Alberta was strong at the end of 2019, with nearly $300 billion in the fund. today.

‘Energy Powerhouse’

The surplus is attributed to Alberta being “energy efficient,” Toews said. “Alberta still has economic strength despite global uncertainty, with a budget surplus of $12.3 billion and a $13.4 billion tax return.”

He said that the total revenue forecast of the province for this fiscal year is expected to reach 76.9 billion dollars. This will happen even though less is collected in personal income tax when the system is indexed for inflation, as the affordability package suggests. More revenue from corporate taxes is expected due to business growth and population growth.

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Toews said Alberta was responsible for a quarter of the new jobs created in Canada this year, while representing only 12 percent of the country’s population. The province also had the highest population growth among the four largest provinces in the first six months of 2022.

The province sees a lot of revenue from bitumen revenue, corporate tax and other revenue.

“De Havilland announced a new aircraft manufacturing plant near Calgary, and it will eventually employ more than 1,500 people. In the first half of the year alone, Alberta saw 56 contracts worth 481 million dollars in capital investment. The province’s agriculture and livestock sector has attracted nearly $1.5 billion in new investment and created nearly 3,000 jobs in Alberta since 2019 “These successes reinforce Alberta’s position as Canada’s economic engine,” said the minister.

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And $79.8 billion will remain in taxpayer-backed debt, and the government has said another $10.8 billion over the next three years will be earmarked for savings, debt reduction and prosperity for the province.

Toews said, “In the face of the possibility of a global recession, Albertans can be confident that our province is in the best possible position because of our focus on responsible fiscal management over the last three years. By investing in savings and reducing debt for future generations, we continue to make Alberta the best place to live, work and raise a family.

Marnie Cathcart

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Marnie Cathcart is a journalist based in Edmonton.

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