RCC Budget Perspective:
Despite the costs associated with the 2013 flood, and with government revenue well above 2013’s forecasted levels, Finance Minister Doug Horner Alberta’s 2014 Provincial Budget returns to a balanced operating budget. At the same time, however, the Alberta government will continue to borrow billions over the next three years for capital construction projects.
The good news for retailers and consumers in Alberta is that no new taxes were created and no taxes were increased in the 2014 budget. Alberta expects that economic performance, consumer confidence, and consumer spending will continue to be strong over the next 3 years.
Budget Highlights included:
• No new taxes or tax rate increases while holding government operating expense increases to 0%.
• $2.6 billion surplus projected for 2014-15, with $40.4 Billion in operating expenses and $43.1 billion in operational revenue.
• Introduced The Savings Management Act, which outlines the creation of the Alberta Heritage Scholarship Fund and the Alberta Heritage Fund.
• Borrowing $4.88 billion for capital infrastructure projects in 2014-15, $4.59 billion in 2015-16, and $2.73 billion in 2016-17.
• No mention of an increase to the province’s minimum wage.
RCC will monitor both the implementation of Budget 2014 and the continued implementation of The Fiscal Management Act. We will also continue pressing the government to take action on the key priorities outlined in RCC’s Retail’s Election Agenda including lowering payroll costs, implementing cost effective waste diversion, harmonizing to reduce the regulatory burden on retailers, and increase Alberta’s available labour pool.
If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact: Lanny McInnes at: [email protected] or (204) 253-1654