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Provincial budget on track at mid-year point

Hon Donna Harpauer

The 2019-20 Mid-Year Report released today forecasts a surplus of $37.4 million, up $3.0 million from the budgeted surplus.

“We are on course with our financial plan—it’s the right balance for Saskatchewan people,” Finance Minister Donna Harpauer said. “We continue to manage spending carefully, invest in priorities, and help keep our economy strong.”

At mid-year, revenue is forecast to be $15.4 billion—an increase of $329.3 million (2.2 per cent) from budget. The increase at mid-year reflects higher federal transfers, non-renewable resource revenue, and net income from Government Business Enterprises (GBEs), combined with smaller increases in taxation and other own-source revenue.

Expense is forecast to be $15.3 billion, an increase of $326.3 million (2.2 per cent) compared to budget. A $285.2 million non-cash increase in pension expense accounts for nearly 90 per cent of the increase. Much of the remaining increase is due to utilization pressures in the health system and federal flow-through funding for infrastructure, partly offset by lower debt-servicing costs.

Public debt at March 31, 2020 is forecast to be $302.1 million lower compared to budget. The decrease is largely due to decreased debt at SaskPower.

Net debt at March 31, 2020 is forecast to be $12.0 billion, a decrease of $370.3 million from budget. The province’s net debt, as a percentage of GDP, is forecast to be among the lowest in Canada.

“The outlook for our economy remains positive, with modest growth projected this year and strengthening in 2020,” Harpauer said.“While challenges remain in some sectors, economic indicators including population, employment, wholesale trade and non-residential building construction are up.”

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