Premier Jim Prentice has been campaigning on a budget brought down right before the election was called. He touts it as a 10-year plan to get the province's finances off a dependence on oil. It includes:
— An end to Alberta's 10 per cent flat income-tax rate with the phase-in of two new tax brackets for those making more than $100,000 or $250,000 a year. No increases to the province's 10 per cent corporate tax.
— A health levy for individuals making more than $50,000 a year. The amount would be tied to income and capped at $1,000 annually.
— A gasoline tax hike of four cents a litre.
— Child supplement for families earning less than $41,220 a year to a maximum of $2,750 each year.
— Shedding of 2,016 full-time jobs across all departments, although most of those positions are already vacant. Prentice promised even deeper cuts during the campaign, saying he would cut 80 of 320 agencies, boards, and commissions by the end of the fiscal year and demand wage freezes from unionized staff.
Leader Rachel Notley has been campaigning on having the wealthy pay more to fund better health care and education. She's promising:
— A Resource Owners Rights Commission to review the royalties oil companies pay to the province.
— A boost in the corporate tax rate to 12 per cent from 10 per cent. Increase in the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2018. Current wage is $10.20.
— More tax brackets for high earners than the Tories are proposing: a 12 per cent rate on income between $125,000 and $150,000; 13 per cent on income between $150,000 and $200,000; 14 per cent between $200,000 and $300,000 and 15 per cent over $300,000. NDP would also roll back the Tory health levy.
— The creation of 2,000 long-term care spaces over four years.
— A ban on corporate and union donations to political parties.
Leader Brian Jean, elected to the position just days before the campaign began, has been running on a firm commitment not to raise taxes. The Wildrose plan includes:
— A promise to balance the budget by 2017 with no tax increases or cuts to frontline services. The plan includes cutting one-third of government managers and half the managers in Alberta Health Services. The party would also slash government travel and advertising budgets, limit the use of consultants, roll back pay for politicians and reprioritize infrastructure projects.
— A law that would ban floor-crossing without a byelection and allow for citizens to recall their member of the legislature.
— A health wait-time guarantee that would allow patients to travel outside the province for services and cover the cost up to the government rate in the public system.
— An end to school fees and development of a provincewide grading standard with letter or percentage marks for students in Grades 5 to 12.
— Creation of an infrastructure priority list in an effort to remove political interests from project approvals.
Interim Leader David Swann has been running on the need for an effective opposition and has pledged to co-operate with the NDP in a minority government situation. Here are some of the issues the Liberals have focused on:
— A progressive income tax system and a boost in corporate taxes in the range of what the NDP is proposing.
— Legislation to ensure pay equity for women and better enforcement of the Human Rights Act.
— Government funding for infertility treatment and the teaching of consent in sex education classes.
— Mandatory vaccinations for children unless parents sign a form acknowledging the risks of not vaccinating.
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