Alberta’s new 10-year plan recognizes that energy revenues are a unique benefit, and treats them as a heritage legacy for all Albertans instead of a source of funding for day-to-day government expenses.
“It is no longer good enough that we go from boom to bust budgets and come up with another set of patchwork solutions. Nor can we pay for day-to-day expenses by relying on unpredictable revenue. We now have a plan change that over the next 10 years. Budget 2015 means immediate action as a part of a long-term plan.”
Currently, all energy revenues go to pay for government program delivery. In 2018-19, the portion will decrease to 75 per cent, followed by 50 per cent in 2019-20.
As government spends less energy revenue on programs, more will be saved and invested. In 2019-20, 25 per cent of energy revenue will be used to pay down debt and to rebuild Alberta’s Contingency Account so the province can respond quickly to floods, wildfires and other emergencies.
Also in that year, 25 per cent of energy revenues will go into the Heritage Savings Trust Fund. That amount will grow to 50 per cent as the contingency fund is replenished and Alberta’s debt is paid. The Heritage Fund will diversify the economy and strengthen Alberta’s legacy for future generations.
“Past investments in medical research, new industries, parks, museums and cultural facilities are a lasting legacy for future generations of Albertans. Future investments have the potential to establish Alberta as a leader in responding to climate change, value-added industries, Aboriginal development, seniors care and education.”
Ten-Year Plan Highlights
A strong fiscal foundation
- Hold the line on spending to bring it closer to national averages while protecting public services.
- Get the best value from taxes in terms of costs and expectations.
- Negotiate respectful new collective agreements.
- Ensure revenues for essential services are not hostage to oil and gas prices.
Building a lasting legacy
- Decrease energy revenues used for program spending: 75 per cent of revenues in 2018-2019, 50 per cent in 2019-2020.
- Rebuild the Contingency Account and pay down debt with 25 per cent of energy revenues in 2019-20.
- Save for the future and diversify the economy through the Heritage Fund: 25 per cent of energy revenues by 2019-20; 50 per cent over time.
Securing Alberta’s future
- Invest in a more diverse economy and legacy: environmental leadership, economic strength, transformed relationships with Aboriginal peoples, seniors’ care, and education.