Canada

Blade: Smith promises $2.4 billion in inflation relief in televised address

This is the largest pre-election package ever offered by the Government of Alberta.

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In a televised address Tuesday night, Prime Minister Daniel Smith touted anti-inflation benefits, including $600 over six months for all seniors and most families with children under the age of 18. .

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The total cost to the Treasury is expected to be $2.4 billion for all measures, which also include tax cuts on fuel and personal income.

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This is the largest pre-election package ever offered by the Government of Alberta. The vote next he will take place on May 29, and the UCP is still lagging behind in the polls. The opening volley is called the Inflation Relief Act.

Seniors and children in families with an annual household income of less than $180,000 will each receive $600. Smith said this was intended to include all “middle-income” households.

The same $600 will be paid to all AISH and PDD beneficiaries and to income assistance beneficiaries.

Smith also promised that the entire state fuel tax would be effectively abolished.

The current 4.5 cents per liter tax reinstated by former Prime Minister Jason Kenny will be abolished.

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Smith said the full 13-cent tax exemption period will be extended for at least six months from January to June.

A driver refuels a truck at Road King Truck Stop in Calgary on Monday, November 14, 2022. Record-high diesel prices are seen across the country.
A driver refuels a truck at Road King Truck Stop in Calgary on Monday, November 14, 2022. Record-high diesel prices are seen across the country. Gavin Young/Postmedia

All state income taxes will be readjusted for inflation in the 2022 tax year. That means people pay less tax or get a refund.

In fact, Kenny-era de-indexing is effectively abolished in all areas, including social payments.

Re-indexing applies to AISH, PDD, Income Assistance, Elderly Benefits, and Alberta Child and Family Benefits. Recipient She will start receiving high payouts in January.

The increased electricity rate rebate will provide each household with an additional $200 during the winter, Smith said.

Winter price spikes are ‘capped’ by the government. The current natural gas rebate program will continue.

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Rounding out this amazing relief package, the Prime Minister will also “invest in food banks and expand low-income transit passes to ensure that all Albertans have access to food and transportation for their families.” I promised.

“From now until this crisis is over, we will ensure that every decision the Government makes is affordable for the people of Alberta and balances the need for a balanced budget and continued fiscal responsibility. ‘ said Smith.

On Wednesday, October 26, 2022, volunteers assembled fresh and canned food baskets at the Calgary Food Bank.
On Wednesday, October 26, 2022, volunteers assembled fresh and canned food baskets at the Calgary Food Bank. Ajin Ghafari/Postmedia

The benefits are not universal, but the cost of this program is unprecedented.

Former Prime Minister Ralph Klein’s “Ralph Bucks” — a $400 check to each province of Alberta in 2005 — spent $1.4 billion in the Treasury in more valuable dollars at the time.

UCP considered a similar generic program, but now estimates it will cost $5 billion instead of the $2.4 billion offered. It can rise by other means.

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“Our state’s financial institutions are in place and are capable of supporting Alberta in times of crisis like this,” Smith said of the surplus from high oil prices.

Smith, who deals with two other themes, health care and ties to Ottawa, stuck to her tough stance.

She reiterated her belief that “we have too many managers and consultants and not enough medical professionals to care for patients on the front lines.”

Without announcing any specific measures, she promised more specialists in emergency departments, reducing the time it takes patients from ambulance to hospital, and performing more surgeries with shorter waiting times. did.

And she promised it would be one of the most difficult feats of all. Delegating more health decision-making to communities and front-line health workers.

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But Smith also tried to undermine the high expectations she raised in her leadership rhetoric. “This will take time and patience, but I am confident it will improve health care for people in Alberta,” she said.

She reiterated her pledge to introduce sovereignty legislation, now “Alberta sovereignty within the laws of the Union of Canada”.

she said: . The federal government’s treatment of all states, especially Alberta, is unacceptable. ”

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Finally, the prime minister urged people not to judge her for her many controversial statements when she was in media and advocacy roles.

The current controversy concerns her earlier statements that health savings accounts pave the way for private payment of medical expenses. Her staff say she no longer holds it.

“I know I’m far from perfect and I make mistakes.”

“Having spent decades in the media and hosting talk shows, I have debated hundreds of different topics and taken sometimes controversial positions. has evolved and changed.”

Don Braid’s column appears regularly in the Herald

twitter: @Donblade

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Blade: Smith promises $2.4 billion in inflation relief in televised address

Source link Blade: Smith promises $2.4 billion in inflation relief in televised address

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