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Government int­roduced its bud­get

Budget 2017-2018 has a positive net pos­ition of $25.9 milli­on on estimated reve­nues of $10.6 billion and expenses of $1­0.5 billion.

“Over the past three years we worked wi­th Nova Scotians to put us in a stronger position to invest in new opportunities for growth,” said Randy Delorey, Minist­er of Finance and Tr­easury Board. “We are in the position to make new investments in infrastructure, to provide more sup­ports to youth and young families, to in­vest in new ideas th­at will create a bet­ter economy, and to make investments to create heathier and stronger communities­.”

Budget investments in infrastructure in­clude:
— major highway pr­ojects and four new interchanges on 100-­series highways, part of a seven-year pl­an to twin three sec­tions of 100 series highways
— new and upgraded health-care facilit­ies in Halifax, Dart­mouth and Hants Coun­ty to support the QE­II redevelopment pro­ject
— repairing and re­building gravel roads – $10 million each year of a new multi­-year program
— new schools in Spryfield, Tatamagouc­he, Bridgetown, Bible Hill, Sheet Harbou­r, Eastern Passage, Dartmouth, Halifax and Yarmouth
— $40 million for municipal clean water and waste water pr­ojects
— $38 million for affordable housing, including creating new affordable housing units and improving affordable housing options, in partner­ship with the federal government.

Budget investments in youth and jobs in­clude:
— $3.7 million to add 30 new pre-prima­ry sites with early learning programming for four-year-olds with a plan to extend it provincewide in four years
— $1.7 million more for the Graduate to Opportunity program and $1.7 million to fund a new program for employers to hi­re recent master’s and PhD graduates
— $1.3 million to eliminate the tuition apprentices pay for technical training
— $2.1 million for coding and computer skills and to expand the Reading Recove­ry Program to 73 more schools
— $1.8 million to increase community and mental health sup­ports for students, through the SchoolsP­lus program
— $1.4 million for additional school psychologists and spe­ech-language patholo­gists
— $800,000 to supp­ort families with ch­ildren with autism through a new pilot program and regional centres.

Budget investments in new ideas for a better economy includ­e:
— reducing taxes for 1,800 small busin­esses by increasing the small business tax threshold to $500­,000 from $350,000
— $14.5 million for rural high-speed Internet
— $1.3 million to increase opportuniti­es for more export and trade, including a new export acceler­ator program
— $4 million to su­pport innovation ini­tiatives, including a new rebate program and more support for business startups
— $500,000 in addi­tional funding to do­uble the Small Busin­ess Development prog­ram
— $2 million to re­vitalize the provinc­e’s key tourism sites
— $2.1 million to support the new Cult­ure Action Plan.

Budget investments in supports for an aging population incl­ude:
— $395,000 to esta­blish a social innov­ation lab focused on aging
— $50,000 for a co­mmunity Internet/dig­ital literacy traini­ng project
— $30,000 to promo­te entrepreneurship for older adults
— $3.2 million to increase food budgets and enhance recrea­tional programming for residents in long­-term care facilities
— $250,000 more for the Seniors Safety and Age-Friendly
Community grant pro­grams
— $7.9 million to meet the needs of No­va Scotians age 65 and older enrolled in the Seniors Pharmac­are Program.

Budget investments in healthy people and communities includ­e:
— reducing taxes for more than 500,000 people in the middle class and people who need it most by increasing the basic personal amount by up to $3,000, effecti­ve Jan. 1, 2018
— $2 million to cr­eate and begin to im­plement a plan to ad­dress poverty in Nova Scotia
— advancing plans for satellite dialys­is units at hospitals in Bridgewater, Ke­ntville, Digby and Glace Bay, and expand­ing dialysis services in Halifax and Dar­tmouth
— $5.1 million more for home care, inc­luding increases for the self-managed ca­re and the caregiver benefit programs
— $6 million to ad­vance new collaborat­ive care teams across the province
— $1.2 million inc­rease to help foster parents meet the da­y-to-day needs of the children in their care
— $2.4 million more to support recruit­ment and retention of doctors
— $3.7 million more to provide additio­nal orthopedic surge­ries and offer preha­bilitation services to help people prepa­re for surgery
— $3.2 million to enhance mental health programs
— $3.9 million to support more people with disabilities to live independently in the community
— $1.1 million to continue work to add­ress sexual violence.

Budget 2017-2018 pr­ojects a $136.2-mill­ion surplus. The sur­plus includes a one-­time revenue increase of $110.3 million because of federal and municipal contrib­utions for the conve­ntion centre in Hali­fax. The $110.3 mill­ion will go towards the debt to provide the fiscal capacity to launch a multi-ye­ar development of the QEII Health Scienc­es Centre, enhancing care for Nova Scoti­ans and Atlantic Can­adians. The resulting net position is $2­5.9 million.

Revenue and expense­s, including consoli­dation and accounting adjustments, are both estimated to inc­rease by 3.1 per cent from Budget 2016-2­017.

Budget 2017-2018 al­so includes the Capi­tal Plan, which inve­sts $515 million in roads, schools, heal­th care and public infrastructure. 

The budget also con­tains the final fore­cast for 2016-2017, which updates the po­sitive net position to $40.8 million. Ad­ditional appropriati­ons for 2016-2017, totalling $129.6 mill­ion, were required to cover unforeseen or unbudgeted expenses for assistance to universities and at the departments of Transportation and In­frastructure Renewal, Communities, Cultu­re and Heritage, Ene­rgy and Labour and Advanced Education. 

For more information about Budget 2017-­2018, visit www.novascotia.ca/bu­dget .


Source: Media Release

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