Sask only balanced provincial budget in Canada
April 24, 2012
With the release of Newfoundland and Labrador's 2012-13 deficit budget, Saskatchewan has become the only province in Canada this year to announce a balanced budget. Manitoba, Prince Edward Island, British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and the Canadian government had all previously announced deficit budgets for the current fiscal year.
"Most Canadians are living in provinces where the government is spending beyond its means, creating economic uncertainty and putting at risk a secure future for its citizens. Our government, meanwhile, continues to control spending while investing in sustainable programs and services important to Saskatchewan people," said Saskatchewan Party MLA Nancy Heppner. "We continue to see the results of our decision to live within our means – over the last week, we learned that retail sales and wholesale trade are at new record highs and our unemployment rate is the second lowest in the country. Wait times for surgery continue to go down – over the past year, the number of people waiting more than 12 months has declined by 80 per cent."
The 2012-13 Saskatchewan budget is balanced on both a general revenue and summary financial basis while limiting overall government spending increases to under 5 per cent. Our budget provides sustainable spending that will support growth such as $581.5 million for highways, $237.4 million in Municipal Revenue Sharing, and the new Saskatchewan First-Time Homebuyers' tax credit of up to $1,100 against Saskatchewan income tax payable.
We also have provided funding to support important services such as $4 million to expand the colorectal cancer screening program province-wide, $113 million to increase benefits and the number of clients served under the Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability program, and further increases to the Seniors Income Plan.
"The theme of the 2012-13 Saskatchewan budget is Keeping the Saskatchewan Advantage. That advantage was created by the hard work of Saskatchewan people over the last few years," said Heppner. "Our government will continue to take action that keeps that advantage and ensures our province remains the best place in Canada to live, work and raise a family."