The bottom line: Alberta budget highlights by the numbers

EDMONTON – Alberta’s NDP government tabled its first budget Tuesday. Here is a look at some of the numbers:

— A $6.1-billion deficit on revenues of $43.8 billion and expenses of $49.9 billion. The plan is for a $5.4-billion deficit next year, then a $4.4-billion deficit and a $2.1-billion deficit followed by a $1-billion surplus in fiscal 2019-2020.

— The four largest ministries — Health, Education, Advanced Education and Human Services — consume 75 per cent of all operational spending.

— Revenue is projected to grow by six per cent a year over the next four years, while expenses will be held to two per cent a year.

— West Texas Intermediate, the benchmark price of oil, is budgeted to average US$50 barrel this fiscal year, then $61 and $68 in the following two years. It currently sits at about $43.

— Resource revenue for 2015-16 is down $6 billion from the previous year.

— Tax changes and new revenue initiatives are expected to bring in $1.5 billion this fiscal year and $2.3 billion a year in the following two years.

— Alberta’s contingency account is to drop to $3.3 billion from $6.5 billion this year and is expected to be drained by early 2017.