Alberta's finance minister announces a whopping $10.5 billion deficit for 2016/17
Alberta's Finance Minister Joe Ceci dropped a bombshell today announcing a record $6.3 billion deficit for 2015/16 and a whopping $10.5 billion deficit for 2016/2017.
The biggest decline in revenues was income taxes, which fell by $762 million and royalties, which declined by $300 million.
The minister promised no cuts to public services, public sector employees and no PST. The government adjusted its average oil price assumption to US$45/bbl.
Alberta has a 5.7% debt to GDP, expected to rise to 10% by the end of 2017, but still much lower than the national average of about 30%. The Finance Minister noted difficult times lie ahead for the remainder of 2016, pleading with the federal government for faster action on Energy East and expansion of EI access for unemployed Albertans.
This will be the first time since the early 80s Alberta has seen 2 straight years of economic contraction.