POLITICS
04/03/2012 02:05 EDT | Updated 06/03/2012 05:12 EDT

Alberta NDP promises higher tax on oilsands, big business to pay for programs

EDMONTON - Alberta's NDP says they will boost taxes on the oilsands and on the wealthy to help schools, hospitals and seniors.

Party leader Brian Mason says they will also hike taxes on large corporations while cutting the levy for smaller ones.

Mason says Alberta takes in the lowest amount of oil royalty money compared with almost any other jurisdiction in the world, and says the oil companies can afford to pay more.

He says the hikes would generate $3 billion in savings, which would be used to expand home care, cut tuition rates, pay for full-day kindergarten, and provide free dental care to children.

Money would also be used to cut class sizes, hire more doctors and nurses and increase spending on mental health care.

Mason says $1 billion of those savings would be put in the nest egg $15-billion Heritage Savings Fund to grow it to $100 billion by 2050.