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Albertans want tax cuts and deficit reduction in Thursday’s provincial budget: poll

Click to play video: 'Albertans want tax cuts and deficit reduction in Thursday’s provincial budget: poll' Albertans want tax cuts and deficit reduction in Thursday’s provincial budget: poll
WATCH ABOVE: All eyes will be on the legislature this Thursday as Finance Minister Joe Ceci tables the Alberta budget. It comes as a new poll suggests Albertans are unhappy with how he's managed the economy so far. Tom Vernon reports. – Mar 14, 2017

A new poll suggests tax reductions are the top priority for Albertans amid this week’s provincial budget.

The Mainstreet/Postmedia poll, released on Tuesday, found 35 per cent of respondents are hoping for tax relief when the budget is released on Thursday.

In news release, Mainstreet Research president Quitto Maggi said a tax reduction would make it harder to tackle the deficit.

“What’s clear is that Albertans across the province want to see a reduction in the taxes they have to pay despite the fact that a tax reduction would make it harder to slay the deficit which is the number two priority at 24 per cent,” Maggi said.

According to the poll, maintaining services such as health and education had 18 per cent support while 12 per cent wanted the NDP government to invest in public infrastructure.

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“It’s unlikely Albertans are going to get everything they want on their wish list, but some will see financial relief with the government’s plan to reduce school fees.” Maggi said.

READ MORE: Alberta NDP to table 2017 budget on March 16

Overall, the poll found 58 per cent of Albertans were dissatisfied with the provincial government’s response to economic conditions.

Just over half of respondents (52 per cent) said the government was not moving fast enough to bring the budget back to balance.

Meanwhile, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi has a wish list of his own.

“Wouldn’t it be nice if we actually saw a real commitment to the Green Line, whether from the carbon levy or from something else,” he said.

“Second is, I expect in the federal budget, there’s going to be a very big commitment to affordable housing. It would be great to see if the provincial was going to follow through on that as well.”

Nenshi said he’s not expecting much from the province given Alberta’s financial state, but he would welcome signals of future commitments when the money is available.

READ MORE: Alberta now on track for $10.8B deficit

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The poll from Mainstreet Research surveyed 2,374 Albertas via landlines and cellphones on March 10 and was released on March 14. 2017.

According to Mainstreet, the poll carries a margin of error of +/- 2.01 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Results were weighed by age and gender based on the 2011 Canadian Census.

 

 

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