With the release of the Government of Alberta’s budget last Thursday, the local MLA has defended his government’s financial plan
UCP MLA David Hanson for Bonnyville-Cold Lake-St. Paul said the budget was what the party campaigned on back in April.
“Mr. Kenney had promised that there wouldn’t be cuts to health care and education. We’ve stuck to that. I think there’s a 2.8 per cent cut overall over the entire budget, which doesn’t affect those two ministries. We did see some significant cuts to a couple of other areas,” said Hanson on The Alberta Legislature on Friday.
“I think we’re on the right track to get our budget to balance in four years, still there’s no doubt about that. We’re overspending as a province, and if you dig deep into the budget, there’s a lot of areas that we need to improve on.”
Although the budget has received criticism from Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson and Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi and from the public sector, Hanson said when he listening to a radio call-in show and some were saying that the cuts didn’t go deep enough.
The budget kept status quo spending for K-12 education and health care, including AISH (Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped).
In January, Hanson’s office in St. Paul was vandalized after an individual on AISH read a tweet from an NDP MLA that a UCP government would cut “almost all of AISH.”
“AISH is going to be stable. They’re not indexing it to inflation, which was a change it was made. But on the other hand, people have to understand that we also pay to that particular program $400 a month higher than the next highest province. So there is there is still some room and I know that it’s tough living on 1600 dollars a month. But we’re trying to do our best to get the province back to proper spending,” said Hanson.
Hanson reinforced the goal of balancing the budget by 2022-23.