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CANADA: PS to bear brunt of Budget cuts

CANADA

Public Servants in the Canadian Province of Alberta have been told they will bear the brunt of a Budget that will cut spending by 2.8 per cent over four years in order to balance the books by 2023.

The United Conservative Government projects a deficit of C$8.7 billion (A$9.6 billion) on C$50 billion (A$55 billion) in revenue for 2019–20.

Debt is projected to rise to C$72 billion (A$79.2 billion) by early next year.

The Budget will keep education and health funding stable, but university students, public sector workers and municipalities will be hit.

The public sector will be reduced by 7.7 per cent over the next four years, mainly through attrition.

While business leaders said the measures were hard but necessary, head of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, Guy Smith (pictured) said it was the wrong prescription for a workforce that was already stretched.

“They haven’t been staffing up to the level of demand and this is going to make it even worse,” Mr Smith said.

“Our members are getting angry because all they want to do is be able to provide good services to the people of this Province – and it’s becoming harder and harder to do that.”

However, Premier, Jason Kenney said he was concerned about a possible global recession that could further reduce revenues and force more cuts later.

“We cannot enfeeble ourselves in the future with a massive debt that leaves us even more exposed to future downturns and to bad Ottawa policy,” Mr Kenny said.

Edmonton, 26 October 2019