The province’s net financial position is projected to improve as total revenue increases slightly and expenses stay relatively flat.
Minister of Finance and Treasury Board Karen Casey presented an update to Budget 2017-18 today, Dec. 21. The projected net position is $28.9 million, up $7.6 million from the net position on budget day.
“We are keeping a steady hand on the finances of the province under changing conditions,” said Ms. Casey. “We are following the plan laid out in Budget 2017-18 to invest in health care, education, young people, and in new ideas that will create a better economy and healthier and stronger communities.”
Total revenue is projected to be up $42 million, or 0.4 per cent, to $10.6 billion while expenses are projected to be up $16.5 million, or 0.2 per cent, to $10.5 billion.
Other highlights of the forecast update include:
— total forecasted surplus is $139.2 million with the net position, after a $110.3 million contribution to fiscal capacity, at $28.9 million
— three prior-year tax adjustments are projected to reduce revenue by $182.1 million (the largest is a $162.3 million reduction in personal income tax primarily due to tax planning by high-income individuals in 2015 in advance of the federal government’s new top tax bracket)
— a prior year adjustment in royalties related to the Sable Offshore Energy Project is forecast to add $150 million in revenue
— departmental expenses are projected to increase slightly by $9.3 million as increased spending in health care is offset by savings from cost-shared projects delays
— debt servicing costs are down $10.8 million, primarily due to lower interest rates and delays in completion of the Halifax Convention Centre
The forecast includes additional appropriations of $86.4 million, primarily for increased demands for health care and $25.6 million to pay out a long service award. The long service payout is for teachers, civil servants and other groups, who have an agreement in place.
For more information, go to www.novascotia.ca/finance .