Alberta introduces bill for $2.8B in inflation-fighting payouts, rollbacks

The Alberta government has introduced legislation to implement inflation-fighting rebates and payouts announced recently by Premier Danielle Smith.

Affordability Minister Matt Jones says the changes allow for help for families, seniors and the vulnerable soon.

Read more: Alberta’s government benefit programs to be re-indexed starting next year

Middle- to lower-income families, those with a household income of less than $180,000 a year, are to get $600 over six months for each child under 18 years of age.

The same income threshold and benefit applies to seniors, and the payout will also go to those on disability supports.

Read more: Smith announces financial relief measures for Albertans during televised address

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There will be electricity rebates and the 13 per cent provincial tax on gasoline is suspended from January to June.

The total cost of the package is pegged at $2.8 billion.

Alberta NDP finance critic Shannon Phillips said despite weeks of anticipation, Albertans still don’t have clear answers as to when they will receive some of these benefits.

“This provides no certainty whatsoever for families who are struggling and need these extra supports,” Phillips said in a statement.

“Clearly, the UCP government does not have their act together and their plan is extremely back-of-the-napkin. This package of initiatives leaves out two million Albertans, which points to the UCP’s lack of competence, professionalism and any real understanding of their actions and how they impact the lives of ordinary people.

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“In addition, a number of these initiatives are quite limited in scope, whether we are talking about electricity rebates or the natural gas piece.

“Given the incompetent performance of this government over the last three years with their handling of pandemic supports, Albertans have not been given any assurances that there will be a smooth rollout of any of these benefits and the answers that were given today don’t inspire confidence in that regard.”

&© 2022 The Canadian Press

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