The first update to Budget 2018-19 projects a small increase to the surplus as revenue projections rise.
Minister of Finance and Treasury Board Karen Casey presented an update to Budget 2018-19 today, Sept. 27. The projected surplus is $34.5 million, up $5.1 million from budget day.
“There have been some changes in revenue and expenses since budget, but we are carefully managing the finances on a sustainable path,” said Ms. Casey. “Strengthening fiscal health provides capacity to deliver the services and programs that are priorities for Nova Scotians. As well, it also attracts new businesses that will help create more jobs and drive the Nova Scotian economy.”
Highlights of the forecast update include:
— total revenue is projected to be up $93.3 million to $10.9 billion
— a revenue increase is mainly due to $60.4 million from forfeiture of offshore exploration licences and a projected small increase in provincial tax
— revenue from an excise tax on recreational cannabis has been revised down by $5.9 million due to the later legalization date
— overall expenses are projected to be up $88.4 million to $10.95 billion
— departmental spending is projected to increase $113.2 million, mainly due to more spending for health care and additional funds added to restructuring costs
— additional appropriations are needed, totalling $115.9 million (Health and Wellness – $70.8 million, Municipal Affairs – $8.9 million and restructuring cost – $36.2 million
— debt servicing costs are revised down by $14.6 million
This forecast update includes revisions in the economic assumptions from the 2018-19 budget. Nominal gross domestic product growth is projected to be stronger than expected in 2017 and slightly weaker in 2018 and 2019.
On Sept. 14, the bond-rating agency Standard and Poor’s gave Nova Scotia its highest-ever credit rating. The agency cited strong fiscal management as it upgraded the province’s long-term credit rating from A+ to AA- with a stable outlook.
For more information, see the Department of Finance and Treasury Board website at http://www.novascotia.ca/finance .