30 Mar Nova Scotia Tables Fourth Consecutive Balanced Budget
For a fourth consecutive year, the government of Nova Scotia has tabled a balanced budget. The budget surplus for 2019-20 is estimated to be $33.6 million, with revenue of $11.01 billion and expenses, after consolidation adjustments, of $10.98 billion.
The government tabled the budget on March 26, which includes continued investments in health care, education, communities and the economy. Balanced budgets can be expected in each of the following three years, following projections.
“This budget builds on our strong fiscal foundation,” said Karen Casey, Minister of Finance and Treasury Board. “Managing our finances well and balancing budgets has given us the ability to invest in new and existing programs and services for Nova Scotians, in areas most important to them.”
Some of the highlights of budget 2019-20 include:
Investments designed to improve access to health care:
- $10 million increase to further develop collaborative care teams
- $2.9 million increase to open 15 residency spaces for specialty medical positions at Dalhousie University Medical School for a total of 65 seats
- $1.1 million continued funding to open 10 family practice residency seats at Dalhousie University Medical School this year for a total of 46 seats
- $2.2 million increase to improve access to hip and knee replacement surgeries
- $1 million continued funding for 11 mental health and addictions staff to support an adolescent outreach program in 41 schools in western and northern Nova Scotia
- $1 million increase to complete the province-wide SchoolsPlus expansion by September 2019
Investments to preparing youth for the workforce:
- $10.2 million increase to expand pre-primary classes
- $67 million total funding this year for the regulated child care sector, including expanding subsidies for families
- $15 million increase to continue implementing recommendations from the Commission on Inclusive Education
- $1.4 million increase to complete the reinstatement of the Reading Recovery program to all elementary schools by September 2019
- $3.6 million increase to the university operating grant as the province prepares to enter another multi-year memorandum of understanding with post-secondary institutions
Investments to create the conditions for economic growth:
- $850,000 increase to enhance export development programming for Nova Scotia businesses
- $500,000 increase for incubators and accelerators that support startup companies
- $2 million increase for Invest Nova Scotia to fund projects that increase competitiveness in economic sectors
- $620,000 increase to support growing immigration
- $15 million total funding for this year to expand and create tax credits that encourage investment in new and growing Nova Scotia businesses
- $415,000 increase to support Nova Scotia’s Canadian Fish and Seafood Opportunities Fund and build on export success
- $1.7 million increase to move toward ecological forestry, including more silviculture
- $2 million increase in funding to make progress on revitalizing tourism icons across the province
Investments designed to support people and communities:
- $14.2 million increase for programs that support adults and children with disabilities.
- $5.6 million in new funding to introduce the standard household rate which will increase income assistance payments to recipients.
- $5 million total funding this year for the third year of a three-year commitment to invest in poverty-reduction initiatives.
- $1.7 million increase to fully implement the exemption of child maintenance payments from income assistance calculations so parents have more money to take care of their children’s needs.
- $3 million total funding this year to help prevent domestic violence.
- $470,000 in new funding for sexual violence prevention work on university and Nova Scotia Community College campuses.
- $3 million increase as part of a three-year plan to create 1,500 new rent supplements and reduce wait lists by 30 per cent.
The 2019-20 budget contains $691.3 million for capital projects including schools, roads and highway, and invests $156.9 million to support the largest health care redevelopment projects in the province’s history.
Also released in the budget were the final 2018-19 forecast, and the surplus for that fiscal year was updated to $28.4 million. It includes the additional appropriations of $59.0 million, accounting for unplanned spending by eight departments and assistance to universities.
For more information, see www.novascotia.ca/budget.