Alberta business calendar: Budget, red ink and campaign commitments

All eyes will be on the Alberta budget this week and there there have been some hints dropped about what the budget might contain.

Alberta's budget is due this week and lots of red ink is expected

Alberta's NDP Finance Minister Joe Ceci says the province expects to run a $5.9-billion deficit this fiscal year as the slumping price of oil forces downward revisions to fiscal estimates. (CBC)

All eyes will be on the Alberta budget this week and — as always — there have been some hints dropped about what it might contain.

Finance Minister Joe Ceci has said not to expect many surprises in the provincial budget, but that campaign promises would be filled and that there would be a job creation plan.

The one thing we can be sure of is that there will be a deficit, as oil prices remain weak and the NDP promises from the campaign will be expensive.

As well, infrastructure spending has been promised to give Alberta's recessionary economy a boost.

Campaign promises

Here are some of the promises from the NDP campaign in the spring:

  • Rachel Notley said the NDP would do away with proposed Tory fee hikes to mortgages, land transfers and land title registry searches. 
  • Funding new school enrolment would also be part of the party's fiscal plan.
  • The party also promises to create a job-creation tax credit that would rebate 10 per cent of wages paid to new hires up to a salary of $50,000, which the NDP predicts would create 27,000 new jobs.
  • The NDP's plan would also invest in 2,000 new long-term-care beds over four years and child care for families.

An increase in the corporate tax rate and a return of progressive personal tax rates have already been implemented.

Ceci also said he was considering an infrastructure plan given to the province by former Bank of Canada governor David Dodge, who has said the time is right to spend on infrastructure with interest rate so low.

The budget will be tabled on Tuesday.

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