Alberta lowers budget surplus forecast by almost C$1 billion

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Alberta lowers budget surplus forecast by almost C$1 billion

After rolling out a series of tax breaks and social benefits to help residents of the oil-rich province deal with higher prices, Alberta lowered its budget surplus forecast by almost C $1 billion $750 million.

The province s surplus will be C $12.3 billion in the current fiscal year, which ends in March, a decline from C $13.2 billion estimated in August, the government said in its midyear fiscal update.

The smaller surplus was due to a C $2.5 billion increase in expenses, including a C $1.3 provision to cover inflation measures announced by Premier Danielle Smith on Tuesday. These include a six month suspension of the provincial fuel tax, support for parents and other relief benefits.

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The measures will result in expense provisions totaling C $1.2 billion in the fiscal 2023 -- 24 budget and C $300 million in the 2024 -- 25 budget.

Alberta, which holds the world's third largest oil reserves, is benefiting from oil prices which surged as high as $130 a barrel after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, but has fallen below $80.

The estimated surplus is nearly 24 times larger than the original forecast for a surplus of C $515 million made in February. None Update assumes West Texas Intermediate crude will average $91.50 a barrel in the current fiscal year, $1 lower than forecast in the first quarter.

None of the non-renewable resource revenues, including hydrocarbon royalties, will reach C $28.1 billion in the current fiscal year, falling to C $19.2 billion in 2023 -- 24 and C $16 billion in 2024 -- 25 as energy prices fall.

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