Government released the public accounts for the 2015-16 fiscal year today, Aug. 9.
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.
As committed in the budget, 2015-16 included investments to keep class sizes small in grades P-4 and support math and literacy; increase home care funding; expand the caregiver support program; provide no-interest student loans for university students; and more orthopedic surgeries.
The audited financial statements for the year ended March 31, 2016, show the deficit was $10.7 million, $86.9 million lower than the budgeted deficit of $97.6 million. This is due to higher than expected revenues from income taxes, provincial recoveries, net income from government business enterprises, and other revenues.
“We are working to manage revenues and control the expenses we can so we can invest in the things that are important to Nova Scotians, such as health care and education,” said Randy Delorey, Finance and Treasury Board Minister. “Over the years government has continued to keep a close eye on expenses. The 2015-16 public accounts demonstrate that we are on the right track and continue to move toward a sustainable, balanced budget.”
Total consolidated revenues were $10.9 billion, an increase of $164.6 million from budget estimate, primarily due to higher than expected revenues from income taxes, external recoveries, interest income, and federal transfers.
Total consolidated expenses were $10.9 billion, an increase of $77.7 million. These increases were partially offset by savings from delays in projects and lower than expected requests for certain services.
Year-end additional appropriations total $43.1 million mainly due to funds required for the remediation of Boat Harbour, by-elections that were held in three ridings, pension valuation adjustments and operational increases. Total additional appropriations for the year were $128.3 million.
Net debt was $15.1 billion. Net Debt-to-GDP for 2015-16 was 37.9 per cent.
Auditor General Michael Pickup has provided an unqualified opinion of the public accounts for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016. In his opinion, the 2015-16 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 – Entities and Funds, and Volume 3 – Supplementary Information.
Government entities also released compensation over $100,000 for individuals as required by the Public Sector Compensation Disclosure Act.
The documents are online at http://www.novascotia.ca/finance .