Jason Kenney’s 2020 Budget: Thousands of Job Losses and Privatized Healthcare to Fund Handouts to Corporations
Alberta’s 2020 provincial budget redistributes wealth from workers, seniors and students to the province’s UCP-friendly elites
Alberta Finance Minister Travis Toews delivered the United Conservative Party’s second budget — and once again workers, seniors and students are on the receiving end of deep cuts.
Unveiled Wednesday, Alberta’s 2020 Budget reaffirms Premier Jason Kenney’s commitment to slashing Alberta’s corporate tax rate over the next year, while moving forward with across the board cuts.
Despite cuts to public services, Kenney is still moving forward with a plan to reduce the corporate tax rate from 12% to 8% — the lowest corporate tax rate in Canada despite already being among the lowest in the country.
Here are a few things Kenney cut in 2020 to pay for that corporate tax giveaway:
$400 million cut from post-secondary education
The budget slashes funding for post-secondary institutions by 6.3% with the government committing to pay for only 52% of post-secondary programs rather than 58%.
Meanwhile, postsecondary tuition fees will rise by 11% this year, and will continue rising by nearly 5% each year afterwards. The budget states that colleges and universities are encouraged to “pursue self-generated revenue.”
Alberta budget 2020: Advanced education funding cut 6.3 per cent, tuition to rise https://t.co/kcshozi6Uh this is in addition to the cuts in Oct 2019 budget, plus performance-based metrics that puts some funding at risk.
— Duane Bratt (@DuaneBratt) February 28, 2020
Public sector workers take a $610 million dollar hit
The Alberta government also promises a $610 million cut in public sector expenses, in part through a reduction of 1,436 public sector jobs.
According to Kenney’s budget, postsecondary education will account for 28% of all job losses while primary and secondary will account for 17% of job losses. Kenney is also axing 15% of all jobs in forestry and agriculture.
#abpse people should pay attention to the job losses anticipated in our sector. Things are about to get ugly. The only choice is to fight. https://t.co/2nu63fzGFL
— Dr. Roberta Lexier (@rlexier) February 27, 2020
Seniors get reduced drug benefits
On top of having their family members and dependants kicked off of their drug plans next month, Alberta’s seniors are in for a cut to drug benefits of $72 million.
The UCP cut medical transportation benefits for people on income assistance. Cut indexing for AISH. Cut drug coverage for thousands of seniors. Removed the cap on insurance & electricity rates. What nightmare will tomorrow’s budget bring?#ableg #abpoli #disabled #RecallTheUCP
— Kent – Disabled Albertan (@KentDisabled) February 27, 2020
For-profit health clinic surgeries to double
With the goal of “encouraging the growth of the private sector,” Budget 2020 expands private health care in the province.
The budget commits to promises to privatize a chunk of Alberta’s health care system, notably outsourcing tens of thousands of surgical procedures to for-profit clinics — in an effort to double the share of surgeries in for-profit clinics over three years.
Privatization of surgeries and continuing care, income testing for seniors’ medications – these are just some of the ways that this budget erodes the universality of our public health care.https://t.co/ZgL1nYJXqi#ABhealth #ABpoli #KenneysCuts #NeedNotGreed
— Friends of Medicare (@FriendsMedicare) February 28, 2020
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