Surplus Up, More Infrastructure Spending

We are sticking to our plan, as we work together to build a stronger Nova Scotia. This means more jobs, smaller class sizes, and more people living and working here.

Our plan invests strategically in our economy, while investing in education to create more and more opportunities for young Nova Scotians. I am pleased to report that while departmental expenses are $77.5 million higher than budgeted, much of those expenditures are recoverable thanks to our strong partnership with our federal government.

Read on for more on the fall fiscal update.

Fall fiscal update

The Province’s September budget update projects a small increase in the surplus with $102.3 million in infrastructure investments in clean water, post-secondary education and innovative research.

Minister of Finance and Treasury Board Randy Delorey presented the first update to Budget 2016-2017 today, Sept. 20. The net position is projected to be $18.9 million, up $1.8 million from budget day.

“Sticking to a fiscal plan has allowed government to invest in strategic sectors of the economy, in education, and create more opportunities for young Nova Scotians,” said Mr. Delorey. “We will stick to our budget plan and continue to work together to build a stronger Nova Scotia.”

Revenue and expenses are both up, primarily as a result of government taking full advantage of new federal-provincial cost-sharing programs to make investments in areas such as clean drinking water and wastewater projects, post-secondary education, transportation infrastructure and innovative ocean research.

Aside from those programs, the Department of Natural Resources required a $3.5 million additional appropriation due to costs from fighting the summer’s wildfires around the province.

The net result, once increased revenues and reduced expenses elsewhere are accounted for, is a higher net position.

Highlights of the forecast update:

  • revenue is projected to be $10.3 billion, up $65.1 million primarily due to participation in the federal infrastructure programs
  • forecasted expenses are $10.2 billion, up $72.3 million, mainly due to participation in the federal infrastructure programs
  • total forecasted surplus is $129.2 million, with the net position, after a $110.3 million contribution to fiscal capacity, at $18.9 million
  • projected tax revenue is meeting budget estimate
  • five additional appropriations, totalling $79.8 million, are necessary, with the largest at Municipal Affairs at $46 million. Almost all of the additional appropriations are related to federal infrastructure programs and are recoverable
  • capital spending is meeting budget estimate
  • debt-servicing costs are forecasted to be down $4.8 million, mainly due to continued low interest rates