Premier Brad Wall keen to launch long-term savings account
New resource-based fund could be part of spring budget
Premier Brad Wall says he likes the idea of long-term savings fund and suggests it could be coming in Saskatchewan's spring budget.
"I just don't see how we would want to delay any longer," Wall said, in reference to launching a long-term resource revenue saving fund.
The fund would be about saving for the future, perhaps decades from now, when money from oil, gas and other non-renewal resources is drying up.
It's an idea that the Saskatchewan Party's opponents, the NDP, campaigned on during the last election, but which Wall agreed with.
He commissioned a report, which came back last month with several recommendations, including one to create the fund as soon as possible, even if there's nothing in it.
"I think it sends the right signal that first of all this wasn't just a public relations exercise, because it most assuredly wasn't," he said. "Secondly, that all of us as a province can start thinking long-term."
The plan would be to cap the amount of resource revenue that goes to daily spending. Then, once the extra money is put away, no government would be allowed to spend the principal.
Since 1976, Alberta has been contributing to its own version, called the Heritage Fund, which now has $16.7 billion in it.
Norway's version, called the Government Pension Fund, has more than $800 billion in it.
"The only way you can use money from the fund is the proceeds, the return on the investment — that's the Norwegian model, that's the model of most of them — the principal can never be touched and can only be added to," he said.