NS Budget Biggest Ever, But Ho Hum Response
Yesterday was budget day in Nova Scotia an event in the legislature that is always met with fanfare and expectation in the political world.
However, real world response has shrivelled over the years and it is increasingly more difficult for any government to make the financial plan more compelling, as expenditures rise beyond the imagination of voters while time frames disappear into months and sometimes years into the future.
It was no different yesterday as Finance Minister Allan MacMaster tabled a budget with aggressive spending on healthcare and supports to boost the provincial economy.
The Finance Minister said, “At its core, Budget 2022-23 is about people. It invests thoughtfully in the areas Nova Scotians care about most, while also planning for the needs of a province that is growing.”
MacMaster forecasts revenues of $12.7 billion and consolidated expenses of $13.2 billion, leaving a deficit of $506.2 million.
Spending in healthcare is estimated at $5.7 billion, an increase of $413.4 million from last year.
The new budget is also a continuation of a provincial capital spending program—$1.6 billion this year—the greatest the province has ever known. Many current projects were started years ago, even under a different administration.
Such projects for Cumberland include:
- the North Cumberland Health Centre in Pugwash
- design work at Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre
- new funding to make virtual care available to everyone on the Need a Family Practice Registry and expand the kind of care available through virtual care
- continued work at Springhill Elementary School
- funding to continue the new Healthy Schools Grant for all public schools
- expansion of the gravel road program and additional funding of $30 million for bridge repair and renewal
- introduction of the More Opportunities for Skilled Trades program, which, starting in the 2022 tax year, will return provincial personal income tax paid on the first $50,000 of earnings for eligible people under the age of 30
To view the budget documents, go to https://novascotia.ca/budget.
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