Budget 2015 is focused on providing stable funding for public services, fostering jobs and the economy and building a path to a balanced budget.
Stable funding for public services
Budget 2015 provides stable funding for the post-secondary system, supporting an estimated 250,000 full and part-time students and apprentices.
2015-16: $5.7 billion
2016-17: $5.9 billion
2017-18: $6.0 billion
a 2-year tuition freeze for post-secondary students to help ensure more Albertans have access to affordable higher education
$228 million for Student Aid programs in 2015-16, to support scholarships for about 47,500 students and grants for about 16,000 students
$579 million in student loans disbursed to more than 77,000 students in 2015-16
Budget 2015 demonstrates a strong commitment to students and families by ensuring children have good schools, enough teachers and every opportunity to succeed. Stable and predictable funding for our schools will fully cover growth in student enrolment.
2015-16: $7.6 billion
2016-17: $7.9 billion
2017-18: $8.1 billion
approximately 380 more teachers and 150 more support staff added to the education system
more support for students with special needs in the form of educational assistants and other classroom supports.
a new school nutrition program to support families and give kids a healthy start
a $45 million annual investment to reduce the burden of school fees for families, beginning in 2016
Budget 2015 stabilizes Alberta’s public health care system with predictable, long-term funding while getting the annual growth of the health budget under control.
2015-16: $19.7 billion
2016-17: $20.4 billion
2017-18: $20.9 billion
Targeted investments will be made to reflect the priorities of Albertans, including:
$120 million over 2 years (starting in 2016-17) for new long-term care spaces
$90 million over 2 years (starting in 2016-17) to expand public homecare
$10 million annually to support mental health services.
increased support for seniors’ health care, including drug, dental, optical and supplemental health benefits
Support for children and families
Budget 2015 increases support for children and families in most need of help. Highlights include:
more support for children in care, helping vulnerable families with new funding for the Family and Community Support Services program
new annual funding of $15 million to support women’s shelters
increased support for people with disabilities, child intervention, child care and homeless and outreach supports
new and enhanced non-taxable benefits for 199,000 low and middle income families
a new non-taxable benefit for families earning less than $41,220 per year, including those receiving AISH and Income Support
maximum annual credit is $1,100 for families with one child, and up to $2,750 for families with four of more children
payments are issued in August, November, February and May
To be eligible for the AFETC and ACB, families must be residents of Alberta, file a tax return and have one or more children under the age of 18. New and enhanced benefits will begin July 2016.
Jobs and economy
Budget 2015 takes important steps to support job creation and stimulate economic growth and diversification. Highlights include:
a 15% increase in capital spending over the next 5 years to build and repair our schools, hospitals and roads, putting Albertans back to work as the economy recovers – this increase is based on the advice of former Bank of Canada Governor David Dodge
an investment of $34 billion over the next 5 years to support modern, efficient infrastructure for Alberta families and businesses, bolstering the province’s economic recovery, including:
$3.8 billion for schools
$4.7 billion for roads and bridges
$2.2 billion for health facilities and equipment
$4.4 billion in new projects and programs that will be considered based on transparent and accountable criteria
A new Job Creation Incentive Program will provide Alberta employers with grants of up to $5,000 for each new job – it will support up to 27,000 new jobs each year, through to 2017.
grants are available on a first-come, first-serve basis to eligible employers of small- and medium-sized enterprises, corporations, registered charities and other non-profit entities
government entities such as hospitals, schools and other levels of government are not eligible
the program will launch in spring 2016. Details on the program, application requirements and procedures will be available at a later date