Government released the public accounts for the 2014-15 fiscal year today, July 30.
The annual public accounts compare the actual financial results at the end of the fiscal year to the budget plan set out at the beginning of the year. An accountability document for taxpayers, it includes consolidated financial statements of the province, financial information of departments, Crown corporations, salaries, payments to suppliers, and travel and other expenses.
The audited financial statements for the year ended March 31, 2015, show the deficit was $143.7 million, $135.3 million lower than the budgeted deficit of $279 million. This is mainly attributed to reduced departmental expenses and increased income and sales taxes.
“We are making strong efforts in keeping our expenses on track in the areas we can control, such as departmental spending,” said Randy Delorey, Finance and Treasury Board Minister. “Total spending was down $36.2 million in the departments. This shows that our initiatives to keep departmental expenses in line were working even though we had unexpected costs, including snow clearing and setting aside additional funds for environmental remediation.
“We will continue to keep a close eye on expenses throughout the 2015-16 fiscal year and make changes if it is necessary.”
Total consolidated revenues were $10.6 billion, a $228 million increase from the estimate, due to increased income and sales taxes.
Despite success in keeping expenses under control in most areas, total consolidated expenses were $10.8 billion, a $92.7 million increase from the estimate.
Year-end additional appropriations totalling $22.9 million were approved. Total additional appropriations for the year were $131.5 million, mainly due to increased winter road clearing, a federal-provincial agricultural stabilization program and setting aside funds for environmental cleanups.
Net debt was $15 billion. Net debt-to-GDP was 37 per cent, lower than the estimate of 37.4 per cent and the prior year’s result of 37.7 per cent.
Auditor General Michael Pickup has provided an unqualified opinion of the public accounts for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015. In his opinion, the 2014-15 financial statements fairly present the consolidated financial position of the province in accordance with Canadian generally accepted accounting principles for the public sector.
Government has published the Public Accounts Volume 1, containing the consolidated financial statements for the province, Volume 2 – Agencies and Funds, and Volume 3 – Supplementary Information.
Government entities also released today compensation over $100,000 for individuals as required by the Public Sector Compensation Disclosure Act.
The documents are online at www.novascotia.ca/finance .