Alberta Minister Sonya Savage said she was “disappointed” energy companies were not using their tax break to create jobs in the province. Unfortunately, the UCP’s Summer of Repeal looks set to offer little more than proof that neither the tax rate nor government policy was to blame for the lack of oil and gas jobs. Unfortunately, the market conditions for oil and gas are going to get worse; no matter how much money the provincial treasury tosses to struggling businesses.
The “Summer of Repeal” was long on narrative-building but fell short of impacting “everyday Albertans”. Jobs aren’t coming back because the market, not tax incentives, dictate whether a business hires employees. This fact was highlighted back in 2016 when the NDP scrapped their $178 million dollar incentive program for job creation.
Back then, the NDP was looking into a program to offer tax incentives for every full-time job created in Alberta, up to $500,000 per qualified employer. Business groups like the Edmonton Chamber panned the program saying “businesses will hire when we need staff“, not because of tax incentives. The information was there, in black and white, had anyone been interested.
As the much-anticipated Summer of Repeal comes to a close, Albertans are not going to be better off. In fact, there are only two winners: UCP donors who could afford to be extra generous and the official opposition – if the latter decides to begin capitalizing on the gifts the UCP is offering.
Repealing the “job-killing policies” of the NDP should have led to job creation. So far, they have not.
Repealing the “job-killing carbon tax” should have led to job creation. So far, it has not.
“Undoing what the NDP has done” should have fixed up the economy. So far, it has not.
” NDP government has caused irreparable damage to Alberta business, robbed people of their retirement & set us all back years financially. They have caused enough pain & heartache. Time for them to go!” 04/13/19@HaveWeAllGoneM1
Understandably, it’s not easy for the NDP to get inside of Conservative strategy but if they want any hope of gaining seats next election, they need to start taking the UCP to task on things a majority of Albertans voted for earlier this year.
The election was neither won nor lost on social issues. The economy was the number one issue in the 2019 election and the NDP needs to hold the government to account on their promises. There is no more carbon tax so where are the jobs? There is no more equitable minimum wage for youth so where are the jobs? There is now a legislated plan to decrease taxes substantially on large corporations, so where are the jobs?
The NDP is in the unenviable position of representing both people who voted for them and people who voted for another Party. They can keep playing to their base or they can designate a few people in their Caucus to start talking the language that the rest of Alberta is listening for; jobs, economy, pipelines.
The UCP will not govern for all Albertans but can the NDP step up and be the Opposition that all Albertans need?
This post contains fact and opinion.
Twitter: @Mitchell_AB for all the commentary; @thisweekinAB for posts; @PoliticalRnD for those who like to guess “who tweeted that?”