Alberta’s Minister of Finance Travis Toews tabled the province’s 2021-22 budget on Thursday afternoon with projections of a $18.2 billion dollar deficit and a $1.7 billion increase in capital spending.
There are no new taxes or tax increases listed in the budget.
The estimated revenues is $43.7 billion in 2021-22, $1.4 billion higher than the third-quarter forecast for 2020-21.
Budget 2021 includes $2.5 billion in contingency amounts for disasters and emergencies, COVID-19, and recovery initiatives.
Taxpayer supported debt outstanding is estimated to total $98 billion at the end of 2020-21 and $115.8 billion at the end of 2021-22.
The budget says it is no longer feasible to balance the budget by 2022-23.
In order to guide fiscal decision-making during these uncertain times, the government said they have established three key fiscal anchors: keeping net debt-to-GDP under 30 per cent, getting per capita spending in-line with comparator provinces, and after the pandemic, re-establishing a commitment to balance the budget.
The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil price is forecast at the US $46 per barrel (/bbl) for 2021-22, reaching US$56.50/bbl by 2023-24. WTI was trading at about US$63 per barrel on Thursday.
Funding under the Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) in 2021-22 will be $1.2 billion, providing increased investment when it is needed most. It will be reduced to $485 million in 2022-23 and 2023-24, resulting in an average funding level of $722 million per year. Funding in 2024-25 will be $722 million.
The Budget 2021 Capital Plan includes:
- $5 .9 billion for municipal infrastructure;
- $3 billion for capital maintenance and renewal;
- $2 .4 billion for roads and bridges;
- $2 .2 billion for health facilities;
- $1 .6 billion for schools;
- $2 .7 billion for other Capital Plan envelopes;
- $0 .8 billion for the Economic Recovery Capital Envelope; and
- $2 .2 billion in SUCH sector self-financed capital spending