This Week in Alberta - Read My Lips
Ending speculation about possible tax hikes, Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach announced Tuesday the province is not increasing personal or corporate taxes to deal with Alberta's growing financial woes.
"As long as I'm premier of this province, there will be no tax increases ... No tax increases, period," Stelmach forcefully told reporters after a cabinet meeting in Calgary.
This story deserves attention, and not just because it's the only recorded instance of the words "Stelmach forcefully" being used in that order (Seriously. Don't believe me? Check out google.).
No, this story deserves attention, because of the baffling Liberal response, which was - "well...maybe we should raise taxes":
While hiking taxes should be a last resort, it should still be an option for a government to consider, said Alberta Liberal finance critic Dave Taylor.
*CG smacks head on desk repeatedly*
But before anyone thinks I've gone soft on Steady Eddie, the rest of the press conference was vintage Stelmach:
Stelmach also said he's immediately rolling back the liquor tax increases that were introduced in the spring budget. That move will reduce government revenues by $180 million a year — and add to this year's deficit that had already been projected to reach almost $5 billion.
Stelmach said he was never comfortable with the April jump in liquor prices when the government markup was boosted by $1.30 for a dozen beer, 75 cents for a bottle of wine and $2.89 for a 750 ml bottle of spirits.
"It was something that I had a hard time agreeing with; it's been bothering me all that time," he admitted.
"We have to … continue to work to reduce the cost of doing business in this province. That's the way you build Alberta's future, and I tell you that Albertans expect confidence and stability in these very, very difficult economic times, and that is my focus," he said. "So just to close: cold beer, hot day, during very difficult economic times."
So, to recap. Stelmach was "never comfortable" with his own budget. Well, that's reasuring.
And now, less than three months later, he has completely reversed himself for no apparent reason other than to project "confidence and stability". Uh-huh.
Labels: Ed Stelmach