2024 provincial budget includes historic tax cut, universal school lunch, healthcare boost, cellular expansion, and mental health and cancer care improvements

Provincial release:

Income tax fairness, a universal lunch program for children in public schools, more resources for healthcare and more support for Nova Scotians to meet their needs are key aspects of this year’s provincial budget.

Today, February 29, Finance and Treasury Board Minister Allan MacMaster tabled Budget 2024–25: Building Nova Scotia, Faster, which makes investments in northern Nova Scotia.

“While Nova Scotians greatly value healthcarethey are also looking for help with the cost of living. They are going to get it in the form of indexed tax brackets and other supports in this budget,” said Minister MacMaster. “We are listening to Nova Scotians and making important investments in ways that will make a difference.”

With revenues of $15.8 billion and expenses of $16.5 billion, Budget 2024–25 estimates a deficit of $467.4 million after consolidation and adjustments.

Highlights of Budget 2024–25 include:

– Beginning January 1, 2025, the Province will index personal income tax brackets, the basic personal amount and certain non-refundable tax credits to Nova Scotia’s inflation rate; it will be the largest tax break in the province’s history and will save Nova Scotians about $160 million in taxes annually by 2028.

– $18.8 million to launch a new universal lunch program for students in public schools, rolling out over four years

– $7.2 million to support Nova Scotians with diabetes, including coverage of glucose monitors and expanding the insulin pump program

– $15 million this year, as part of a $47.3 million three-year commitment, to launch a new Cellular for Nova Scotia Program to expand access to cellular service across the province

– $7.3 billion across the healthcare system, providing the resources to continue making the kind of changes that will have a lasting positive impact system-wide, including:

     – $41.5 million to improve cancer care treatment including new digital imaging technology and equipment that results in improved outcomes and increased survival

     – $36.2 million more for initiatives that move the province toward universal mental health and addictions care for all Nova Scotians.

Highlights of investments that will benefit northern Nova Scotia include:

– Highway 104/Route 344 – Aulds Cove intersection realignment, access improvements

– Highway 104 – Taylors Road to Paqtnkek

– Trunk 4 – Antigonish active transportation corridor conversion

– More funding for the Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre emergency department and dialysis unit

– Nova Scotia Community College Pictou campus student housing project

– Funding for a new North Cumberland Health Centre

– Long-term care projects in Tatamagouche, Musquodoboit Valley and Pictou County

– Continuing investment in school construction projects – Springhill Elementary and Trenton Elementary and Middle schools

– $36 million (provincewide) for the maintenance and repair of rural roads under the Rural Impact Mitigation program

– $55 million (provincewide) for gravel roads

– $637,000 to continue expanded nurse training programs – part of a four-year commitment to add 80 seats for nursing students at St. Francis Xavier University, Cape Breton University and Dalhousie University.

Quick Facts:
– Budget 2024–25 contains includes $1.6 billion for capital projects, sustaining the level of investment for a growing population
– Healthcare spending has increased 36 per cent over the past three years
– The final forecast for 2023-24 reports a surplus of $40.3 million
– Additional appropriations related to the 2023–24 forecast, totalling $320.2 million, are required by 10 departments since the December forecast

Additional Resources:
A full list of investments is included in the Budget 2024–25 highlights document, available at: https://beta.novascotia.ca/sites/default/files/documents/7-805/highlights-budget-2024-2025-en.pdf

More budget information is available at: https://novascotia.ca/budget

Action for Health, the government’s plan to improve healthcare in Nova Scotia: https://novascotia.ca/actionforhealth/

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