The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is criticizing the Saskatchewan government for failing to keep the budget balanced in the latest mid-year report.

“Taxpayers should be concerned about this fiscal update,” said Gage Haubrich, CTF Prairie Director. “The government failed to prepare for a downturn and now taxpayers are paying for it.”

Budget 2023 originally predicted a $1 billion surplus. The government’s latest fiscal update now projects a $251 million deficit. That’s a $1.3 billion decrease compared to the budget.

Total government revenue is up $35 million from Budget 2023, taxation revenue is up $414 million compared to the budget.

Spending is up $1.3 billion compared to the budget. Most of that increased spending is a result of increased crop insurance claims, according to the government. The government also increased spending by $450 million in other departments, including $45 million in “General Government.”

Taxpayer-supported debt is now projected to increase to $18.9 billion by the end of the year. That’s an $800 million increase compared to the budget.

“This fiscal update needs to be a wake-up call for the government to get spending down,” said Haubrich “Taxpayers can’t afford to have the government waste anymore of their money on debt interest charges.”