Government has maintained a surplus while responding to storm and flood damage in Cape Breton and investing in new infrastructure, the December forecast update indicates.
Minister of Finance and Treasury Board Randy Delorey presented the second forecast 2016-2017 update today, Dec. 15. The projected surplus is $12.1 million, down $5 million from the net position on budget day.
“I’m pleased we’ve stuck to our plan that invests in health care, education, and employment initiatives for our youth,” said Mr. Delorey. “This has allowed us to make key investments and move towards fiscal sustainability, which is why we’ve been able to respond to uncertain and unexpected events, like new federal infrastructure programs, the flood damage in Cape Breton and forest fires earlier this year.”
The forecast incorporates $17.5 million to respond to the damage from the October storm in Cape Breton. The expenses include assistance to homeowners, small businesses and not-for-profit organizations, as well as infrastructure repairs due to storm damage.
Investments that take advantage of new federal-provincial cost-sharing programs include clean water/waste water projects, ocean research, an enhanced science complex at Acadia University and projects at Nova Scotia Community College campuses in Bridgewater and Stellarton.
The delay in the completion of the new Halifax Convention Centre has several revenue and capital implications for the province. It reduces revenue ($110.3 million), the capital expenditure ($169.2 million) and debt servicing and amortization costs ($1.8 million).
Other highlights of the forecast update include:
— revenue is projected to decrease $72.9 million to $10.2 billion, mainly due to the convention centre delay and lower tax revenue, which is partially offset by increased recovery revenues
— forecasted tax revenue is down $45.5 million, mainly from reduced personal income tax, motive fuel tax and HST. The reduction is partially offset by projected increased revenues from corporate income tax and tobacco tax
— expenses are forecasted to be up $45 million to $10.2 billion, mainly due to participation in new federal infrastructure programs
— three additional appropriations, totaling $11.6 million, are necessary, with the largest at Labour and Advanced Education, with the increase due to recoverable expenses.
For more information, go to www.novascotia.ca/finance.