Provincial Budget Introduced

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first_imgFinance Minister Graham Steele presented the provincial budget today, Sept. 24, at Province House. “This budget is substantially the same as the budget introduced last May 4,” said Mr. Steele. “We are keeping all of our commitments for this fiscal year and, as promised, they will all be funded through savings elsewhere in the budget.” While spending for programs and services is largely unchanged from May 4, the budget has been updated to reflect changes in revenue and expenses. Total revenues for 2009-10, including net income from government business enterprises, are projected to be $8.4 billion, a decrease of $54.1 million over the 2008-09 estimates. Provincial sources are down $421 million because of a decrease in income taxes of $141.2 million and petroleum royalties of $362.8 million. Federal sources are up $368.8 million. Total expenses for 2009-10 are budgeted to be $9 billion, up $761.1 million from 2008-09. Compared with the previous year, the most significant increases in spending relate to a provision for the previous government’s memorandum of understanding with the universities, and increasing in health care costs. The budget estimates a deficit of $592.1 million. After strong economic growth of 2.8 per cent in 2008, the provincial forecast calls for real GDP growth of 0.3 per cent in 2009 and 1.8 per cent in 2010. Nova Scotia’s capital plan for 2009-10 will leverage federal dollars and stimulate the provincial economy. Government plans to spend $796 million to build and repair roads and bridges, schools, health care facilities, housing and more. “With almost half the fiscal year gone, a major portion of our costs fixed in salaries, and an economy needing a measured dose of stimulus spending to spur growth, there was little room to alter the course that had already been set for the fiscal year,”said Mr. Steele. The 2009-10 budget will see $31.8 million go towards new government commitments. New tax measures will make home heating, new home construction, and investment in small business more affordable. A manufacturing and processing investment credit will help manufacturers boost productivity and create secure jobs for Nova Scotians. Finally, a new Graduate Retention Rebate will be offered to graduates who choose to stay and work in Nova Scotia. The Provincial Finance Act will be amended to allow government to table a deficit budget. For further budget information, see the Department of Finance website at .last_img

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