Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose has said the $4 billion the party is spending on childcare could help bring about a “courageous” change in Alberta’s tax system.
“It’s time to give more power to the people,” Ms. Ambrose told reporters Monday, as the party seeks to secure the most seats in the next provincial election.
Ms. Oliver is scheduled to make her second appearance on Parliament Hill since the throne speech, where she said the NDP will not seek to raise taxes on working families and that the NDP government is committed to ensuring a fair, transparent and just tax system for all Albertans.
Ms: Oliver: We’ll be taking on the NDP in every single way we can, but we’ll be making sure that we’re putting forward a plan that’s as fair as we can.
That’s why we’re going to use every penny of our $4-billion savings, so that we can have a fairer, more balanced tax system that’s good for Albertans, good for Alberta families and good for business.
Ms Ambrose said the party will also be making investments in social housing and childcare facilities.
She said it will be “a challenge for any government to manage all of those resources in a way that they’re not going to end up with people sleeping in cars and people who have nowhere to go.”
Ms Oliver said the Conservatives will also “be bringing a real change in the tax system” and said the Liberals have not committed to doing so.
“The Liberals have said they will not raise taxes, so we’ll need to look at all of the tax changes that are coming out of that government, all of which are not going away,” she said.
Ms: Oliver said there will be a new “bipartisan” commission to review Alberta’s current tax system, but added the party has not yet decided whether to support the creation of a new tax-free fund.
The new commission will report back to the legislature on February 26, and Ms Oliver said her government will use the opportunity to “get a real assessment of where we are in this province.”
In the throne address, the government unveiled a plan to increase the number of tax-exempt charities by 100 per cent and provide tax relief to all charities, including religious institutions.
In a letter to Albertans Monday, the NDP said the government’s “outrageous” plan to cut taxes for the wealthiest Albertans would leave families and businesses with less money to spend on food and other necessities.
“The government is taking away our children’s tax-deductible contributions, which is unacceptable, and has not announced how it plans to fund the program,” NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said in a statement.
Mr. Singh said the Tories’ plan to slash the province’s tax burden for those making more than $300,000 is “shocking” and “a slap in the face to Albertan families.”
“This is the worst tax plan in the country,” Mr. Singh added.
Alberta’s other provincial parties are also on record supporting raising taxes for lower-income families and cutting back on the provinces childcare program.
The Alberta Federation of Labour said in April that it would not support raising taxes on lower-earning families, but it also has said it would support the NDP’s plan to raise childcare expenses.
Premier Rachel Notley said Monday that she will not be “foolish” to increase childcare costs for Albertan women.
But she said her party is working to make sure all Albertan children receive adequate childcare services and she hopes to increase support for those in the lower income brackets.
As a result, the premier said the province will be taking action to provide more childcare to all Albertas citizens.