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%.
2. Creating jobs
There is a plan to create jobs and deal with growing unemployment with the province rolling out a $250-million jobs package.
- Over two years, $165 million will be spent for two new tax credits to encourage support for small and medium-sized companies
- $25 million to the Alberta Enterprise Corporation
- $35 million will be spent to attract new business, and pursue regional economic development
- $25 million for new apprenticeship and training programs
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.
5. Fuel tax
A price of $20 per tonne of emissions will be implemented on purchases of fuel for transportation and heating starting January 2017.
6. Rebates for lower / middle income families
A rebate for lower and middle income families will go into effect January 2017 to help combat the new heating fuel taxes.
- An Albertan making up to $47,500 annually will qualify for a $200 rebate in 2017, and $300 in 2018.
- A couple making a combined $95,000 would be eligible for $300 in 2017, and $450 the next year.
- A couple with up to four children, earning $95,000 would qualify for $420. $300 for the parents, and $30 for each child in 2017. In 2018, that same family earning the same amount would be eligible for a $630 rebate. $450 for the parents, with $45 for each child.
- Rebate amounts will reduce for if individuals make $47,500 to $51,250 at 2.67%.
- A couple without children is eligible for a reduced rebate if they make up to $100,000 in 2017, with their rebate being reduced at 4%.
7. Modernizing infrastructure
$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.
8. Tackling cancer
$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.
9. Child benefit
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.
10. Royalty revenues
Royalty revenues are expected to drop by 90% to $1.4 billion in the coming fiscal year, the lowest in 40 years.
11. Balanced budget
If the current economic conditions continue, the provincial government expects to have a balanced budget by 2024.