Posted on Jan 21, 2020

Kenney's no jobs corporate handout failing, economic forecast downgraded

Premier Jason Kenney’s $4.7-billion corporate handout has not produced the jobs or investment he promised, causing many private sector economists to downgrade their economic growth forecasts for 2020.

Scotiabank recently downgraded Alberta’s growth prospects to 1.6 per cent1 from 2.4 per cent2 for 2020. Heading into the new year, all six major banks now have lower economic growth projections for 2020 than the UCP budget projected just three months ago,3 and well below Kenney’s personal goal of three per cent.4

Alberta NDP Finance Critic Shannon Phillips is calling for Finance Minister Travis Toews to release a Third Quarter Fiscal Update by the end of January and commit to providing Albertans with a foregone revenue forecast resulting from successive cuts to the corporate tax rate as soon as possible.

“These updated numbers show the UCP’s policies are failing. They promised economic growth and jobs, but all we’re seeing is a declining economy and job losses,” said Shannon Phillips, NDP Finance Critic. 

According to December job numbers by Statistics Canada, Alberta has lost 50,000 full-time jobs since the UCP’s corporate handout was implemented, despite the UCP’s platform commitment to create 55,000 full-time jobs through their gift to corporations. 

Alberta’s credit was also downgraded in December after Moody’s cited “structural weakness in the provincial economy,” higher than anticipated debt levels, reduced revenue from the $4.7 billion corporate handout, and a lack of economic diversification.5

“The UCP thought their $4.7 billion corporate giveaway would be a silver bullet for the economy. Instead, it’s been a poison pill. Independent analysts are now seeing the UCP’s corporate giveaway and abandonment of diversification has destroyed jobs and damaged Alberta’s economy,” said Phillips. 

“To pay for their corporate handout, the UCP have cut essential programs and increased personal income taxes and fees. With these downgraded forecasts, there could be more cuts and job losses coming. Albertans deserve answers. They need to see the updated books. The UCP need to immediately provide an economic update.”