EDMONTON – Alberta Finance Minister Travis Toews announced at a news conference Thursday that Alberta has a projected $12.3 billion surplus in the 2022-23 mid-year budget. That’s just $511 million more than last February’s forecast.
Toews said the addition will allow the province to provide significant assistance to Albertans and their families so they can “keep more money in their pockets for food, gas, utilities and other rising everyday costs.”
Alberta Premier Danielle Smith has pledged to allocate $2.4 billion this fiscal year and next for a series of support and inflation-reducing measures aimed primarily at middle- and low-income families, seniors and vulnerable groups. Over the next six months, $600 in benefits will be sent to some Albertans, including families with children under 18 who earn less than $180,000, seniors and those receiving income support, Guaranteed Income for the severely disabled and other government benefits. There will also be a freeze on the provincial fuel tax for six months.
The Toevs determined that the price relief measures would be funded from the current surplus and would not include withdrawals from the Legacy Savings Trust Fund or debt retirement plans. “Our government is the first government to now reinvest all of the Heritage Savings Fund’s income back into the trust fund,” the minister said.
The minister suggested that if the investment income in the Savings Legacy Savings Fund had remained unchanged from its inception without additional contributions and withdrawals, Alberta would have had more than $270 billion at the end of 2019 and close to $300 billion in the fund. today
Toews said the addition is due to Alberta being “an energy powerhouse.” “Alberta continues its economic momentum, despite global uncertainty, with projected growth of $12.3 billion and debt repayments of $13.4 billion.”
He said that the province’s total revenue forecast for this fiscal year is $76.9 billion. When the system is indexed to inflation, even if less is collected than the personal income tax, this will be the case, as announced in the available package. More corporate income tax revenue is expected due to business growth and significant population growth.
Toews said Alberta is responsible for more than a quarter of new jobs in Canada this year, while representing just 12 percent of the country’s population. The province also had the highest population growth among the four largest provinces in the first six months of 2022.
The province continues to generate significant revenue from bitumen royalties, corporate income tax and other revenue streams.
“De Havilland has announced a new aircraft manufacturing plant near Calgary that will eventually employ more than 1,500 people. In the first half of this year alone, Alberta saw 56 deals worth $481 million in venture capital investment. The province’s agriculture sector attracted nearly 1.5 billion in new investment and created nearly 3,000 jobs in Alberta as of 2019. These successes strengthen Alberta’s position as Canada’s economic engine,” said the minister.
And $79.8 billion in taxpayer-backed debt will remain, with the government indicating another $10.8 billion will be spent over the next three years on savings, debt reduction and the province’s future prosperity.
Toews said, “In the face of a possible global recession, Albertans can rest assured that our province is in better shape as a result of our focus on responsible fiscal management over the past three years. By investing in savings and reducing debt for future generations, we will We will make it the best place to live, work and raise a family.”