Horner brushes off budget criticism from cabinet colleague Denis
Finance Minister Doug Horner is defending how his government reports financial results in light of criticism from one of his own cabinet colleagues.
On Tuesday, Justice Minister Jonathan Denis - a potential leadership rival - suggested on Twitter that the format is too complicated to understand.
In the recent budget, the government introduced a new accounting system for showing the difference between revenue and spending in financial results.
It now treats capital and operational spending as separate entities. That allowed the budget to claim a small operational surplus even though there will be billions in borrowing for capital projects.
Critics say the change was made to mask how much the government is going into debt to fund large infrastructure projects. But Horner says the system is simple.
“There's too much misinformation about what is actually in the budget and how it's presented,” he said.
“When you talk to people like economists…they look at this and say this is very simple. It’s very much like your home budget. You've got an income statement and balance sheet. That's what we're presenting.”
Both Horner and Denis are thinking about running for the leadership of the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party.
The leadership is currently being filled on an interim basis by Dave Hancock following Alison Redford’s resignation as leader and premier on Sunday.
Party members will elect a new leader in September.