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Budget 2016 covers the period from April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017 corresponding to the 2016-17 fiscal year (FY). There are revenue and spending projections for the following two fiscal years. This year’s budget is called The Alberta Jobs Plan.
Budget 2016 forecasts a deficit of $10.4 billion. A contingency of $700 million is included in case oil prices keep declining or unforeseen emergencies require extra spending. The large deficit is due to a further drop in energy prices. The oil price underpinning this year’s budget has been reduced from $62US per barrel last October to $42US per barrel in Budget 2016. Low energy prices are causing job losses that in turn result in lower revenues from corporate and personal income taxes. The forecast deficit is a record in dollar terms; as a percentage of the overall budget, the deficit is still less than that of budgets in the mid-1980s when there was a similar dramatic decline in energy prices.