Province Needs Long-term Plan to Save for the Future



    EDMONTON, April 19 /CNW/ - The Certified General Accountants of Alberta
(CGA Alberta) have urged the Government of Alberta to use today's Provincial
Budget to outline a detailed plan that would ensure sustainability in the face
of substantial expenditure increases. CGA Alberta continues to believe the
government must save significant amounts of today's record resource revenue to
ensure the financial sustainability of important government services such as
health care and education.
    "The government of Alberta enjoys record revenues, driven by the strong
performance of the Province's economy and enormous resource income," says CGA
Alberta Executive Director and CEO, John Carpenter. "Unfortunately, these
record revenues are too often accompanied by significant spending increases,
with insufficient attention to long term planning which would lay the
groundwork for sustainable government programs - we can not bank Alberta's
future on continued good luck on the revenue side."
    Today a new Treasurer and a new Premier lay out their fiscal agenda.
Undoubtedly they are aware of the substantial pressures on our infrastructure
and social programs. But the most important test of the provincial
government's work today is very simple: their ability to clearly articulate
the future into their spending priorities today and their subsequent
discipline (political and operational) to make sure that what is planned gets
achieved.
    This is clearly another "oil boom". But the world's drive to reduce its
reliance on carbon-based fuels has never been more intense, this could easily
be the last oil boom. Today we are blessed with extraordinary wealth and
possess the collective wisdom to transition to a new economic paradigm
tomorrow.
    "Our government must clearly outline how future spending needs, which
will face increasing pressure as our population progresses through the
demographic shift, will be financed," continued Carpenter. "We need a plan and
the political discipline to make the hard choices and stick with them.
Albertans have proven their willingness to make sacrifices when faced with
clear financial objectives - the Government needs to show the leadership
Albertans deserve and keep our economic future on today's agenda."
    CGA Alberta has offered several specific policy suggestions for dealing
with Alberta's finances through their "Vision 20/20" project, and a set of
"Policy Letters". Links to both publications are available at
(www.cga-alberta.org).




For further information:

For further information: John Carpenter, Executive Director and CEO, at
(403) 299-1326

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Alberta Accountants Unification Agency

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