NS 2020-21 Budget: Instead of the $853 million deficit, now just $779 million

Nova Scotia’s economic position has improved since July, but the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on the province’s fiscal forecast. 

Finance and Treasury Board Minister Karen Casey presented the second update on Budget 2020-21 today, Dec. 17. Government is forecasting a deficit of $778.8 million for the 2020-21 fiscal year, a $833.9 million change from the $55 million surplus anticipated in February, and a $74 million change from the July forecast. 

“Nova Scotia, like the rest of the world, is continuing to experience an unprecedented economic shock due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Ms. Casey. “While we are pleased to see an improvement from the July forecast, government’s priority remains protecting Nova Scotians and controlling the spread through strong public health measures, while making investments to support economic recovery.”

Additional appropriations are required for 10 departments for a total of $298.8 million, with the majority of expenses related to supporting Nova Scotians and sustaining the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Government is also increasing its authority to borrow by an additional $1 billion, for a total of $2.75 billion, increasing capacity to respond to COVID-19 if required.   

Quick Facts:  
— total revenue is projected to be $11.41 billion, down $186.6 million from the budget, mainly due to decreased tax revenue and negative prior year adjustments of $214 million
— overall expenses are projected $12.32 billion, up $708.7 million, mainly due to increased expenses related to the COVID-19 response
— debt servicing costs are revised, down by $15.6 million from budget 

Additional Resources: 
Forecast Updates: https://beta.novascotia.ca/budget-forecast-updates

Budget 2020-21: https://novascotia.ca/budget/

Nova Scotian information on COVID-19: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus

Government of Canada: https://canada.ca/coronavirus

6 new COVID-19 cases (Dec 17)

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