Alberta won’t balance its books with just one decision or change. Instead, we need to pull on a variety of levers so that our fiscal situation is improved without asking too much of one group of stakeholders or citizens. Enter the “5-5-5 Plan”, which would see Alberta implement a five percent sales tax, reduce projected spending by five percent over five years, and save five percent of its annual tax revenue for future generations in the Heritage Fund.
This plan has something for everyone — and probably something for everyone to oppose as well. The reality is that we are going to need to make uncomfortable choices that are not politically popular to get us to where we need to be with our public finances. A blend of measures that combines blessings and curses for citizens of diverse views is worth considering as the way forward, since catering to ideological purity one way or another seems unlikely to achieve the results we need.