Kenney cuts funding from disabled Albertans to pay for corporate tax cuts
Premier Jason Kenney and his government have released the official numbers for their inaugural budget. The UCP government is projected to make $1.3 billion in spending cuts. Among these cuts is a decision to pause any increases to the Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH). Benefits such as AISH are usually tied to inflation and as such, its funding will decline over time as inflation rises.
During the election campaign, Kenney had promised he would keep AISH tied to inflation. The previous Alberta government was projected to increase funding for the program by $194 million annually. Over the next four years, that would be equal to a $776 million decrease compared to previous funding plans.
Apart from the cuts to social programs, Kenney is also moving forward with his plan to cut the corporate tax rate from 12% to 8%. The changes will result in a $4.5 billion decrease in revenues collected from corporations. The Kenney government hopes to cut costs for corporations that would, in turn, create jobs in Alberta. However, his government’s commitment to trickle-down economics has not had a successful track record thus far.
Earlier this year, the Alberta government initiated the first 1% cut to the corporate tax rate. Oil and gas companies did find considerable savings and posted remarkable profits. However, the same companies have been laying off workers rather than increasing employment levels.
Kenney’s new budget appears to be asking the most vulnerable Albertans to expect less so corporations can generate more profits, with no likely benefits for Albertans.
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