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Necessary or devastating? Reaction to Alberta's budget coming in

Last Updated Oct 24, 2019 at 7:45 am MST

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney leaves after discussing the accomplishments of his government in its first 100 days in office, in Edmonton on Wednesday August 7, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

EDMONTON (660 NEWS) – Premier Jason Kenney will make his budget announcement Thursday afternoon and there’s no shortage of reaction coming in.

In an address to the province Wednesday night, Kenney said the new budget will cut overall spending on programs by nearly three per cent. He added the impact on public service jobs will be “modest”.

WATCH: Premier Jason Kenney addresses Alberta budget

Several organizations including the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) say actions like this are necessary.

Franco Terrazzano with the CTF says Alberta overspends more than other provinces.

“We’re not even getting the best results for the tonne of money that we are putting into the system. Right away, in this upcoming budget, the Kenney government needs to show that it’s number one priority is to bring spending in line with our peer provinces.”

Terrazzano believes there’s room for cuts in education and healthcare and notes there could be more than $5 billion in savings in those two sectors. He also said there should be cuts in what he calls corporate welfare.

The Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL) holds a different approach to the budget arguing public sector cuts will be devastating.

President Gil McGowan believes thousands of jobs could be lost in the public and private sectors.

“They ignore the fact that the public sector is an important part of the economy with real people, providing real services with real economic value, and they ignore the fact that you can’t cut those services without having a real impact on the economy.”

He also contends this would be worse than what happened when the price of oil plunged in 2014.

“Instead it would be a deliberate choice and the resulting recession because it would kick us into recession, it wouldn’t be something that just happens to us, it would be self-inflicted.”

The UCP government is expected to table its budget at 3:15 Thursday afternoon.