Crude prices blamed for budget woes
Published Monday, January 21, 2013 5:36PM MST
Last Updated Monday, January 21, 2013 6:23PM MST
Alberta’s finance minister has stepped up his warning that the budget in March will be full of deep cuts.
Doug Horner spoke to the Chamber of Commerce on Monday in Calgary and Horner blamed budget woes on the price Alberta companies are getting for oil.
Currently the price is between $30 and $40 a barrel below world prices.
Horner admits the government didn't forecast how much or how quickly the price for Alberta crude would drop.
Early estimates for the upcoming third quarter financial update predicted the province's shortfall at around $3 billion but the finance minister now warns it will be higher.
“We've been through tough times before, but as I said this time is different. We don't have a quick fix to our market access problem, so we will be seeing some belt tightening for the medium term we will be presenting the 2013 budget on March seventh and with it we will be laying out a new direction for the province,” said Horner.
Horner promised no new taxes or increases but says that cuts to services are inevitable.
The province recently moved back the date of its upcoming budget and Horner says that is to allow time for government departments to make deeper cuts.