The Alberta NDP government released their 2016 budget today and revealed the three year fiscal plan to deal with the province’s financial uncertainty.
Here’s a list of key things to know about the provincial budget.
The deficit will exceed the original governement cap set last fall, amounting to $57.6 billion. The province’s debt will reach 15.5%.
There is a plan to create jobs and deal with growing unemployment with the province rolling out a $250-million jobs package.
Over the next five years, $892 million will be spent on affordable housing construction and refurbishment. That’s a $500 million increase over last falls budget.
$3.5 billion will be spent over the next five years for building and modernizing schools. Funding for student transportation has been increased from $345 million to $350 million.
A price of $20 per tonne of emissions will be implemented on purchases of fuel for transportation and heating starting January 2017.
A rebate for lower and middle income families will go into effect January 2017 to help combat the new heating fuel taxes.
$8.5 billion will be invested this year to build and modernize key public infrastructure. This does not include funding for the C-Train’s green line.
$1.2 billion has been set aside for Calgary’s long-promised Cancer Centre but the project isn’t expect to break ground until next year at the earliest with a completion date set for 2024.
A new Alberta Child Benefit is being introduced by the government. $147 million is being put in for 2016-17, and then $196 million per year starting in 2017-18. It’s expected to provide up to $2,750 annually for vulnerable children and families. A $25 million boost for the Enhanced Alberta Family Employment Tax Credit.
Royalty revenues are expected to drop by 90% to $1.4 billion in the coming fiscal year, the lowest in 40 years.
If the current economic conditions continue, the provincial government expects to have a balanced budget by 2024.