Province Projecting $18 Billion Deficit in Budget, Increase In Spending On Health

The province is projecting a $18.2 billion deficit for the 2021-22 budget.

Travis Toews, Alberta’s Finance Minister, released the current government’s third budget since taking office on Thursday with a big focus on healthcare.

They’re increasing the health budget by $900 million which raises the total to $23 billion.

This doesn’t include funding to continue tackling COVID-19, which is getting $1.25 billion. This is in addition to the $2.1 billion they spent combating the virus in 2020 and the first part of 2021.

“Budget 2021 ensures health-care funding to see all Albertans through the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Toews.

“At the same time, it lays the foundation for economic growth and job creation while carefully managing Albertans’ hard-earned tax dollars. It’s a budget that protects our health-care system and positions Alberta to emerge from COVID-19 stronger than ever.”

The province is projecting a slight increase in revenue compared to last year. They’re anticipating $43.6 billion, up from the projected $42.3 billion in 2020-21.

They’re also expecting a nearly $900 million jump in revenue non-renewable resources, mainly due to to oil prices and production continuing to stabilize and increase.

Tax revenue is also forecasted to be around $19 billion, a year-over-year increase of $583 million. However, the GoA isn’t raising the education property tax for a second straight year.

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