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MARCH 19, 2014
No Tax Increases; Important Investments in Infrastructure and People
Finance Minister Ken Krawetz today tabled a balanced budget aimed at keeping Saskatchewan on the path of steady growth.
This year’s budget avoids tax increases by controlling government spending.
“Our government’s preference will always be to balance the budget by controlling spending rather than by raising taxes,” Krawetz said. “We were able to achieve that once again this year, while still making targeted investments in infrastructure, employment and job training, seniors, students, people with disabilities, children and families.”
This year’s budget also sees the government moving to a summary focus as recommended by the Provincial Auditor.
“Steady growth is the big picture, a vision for the long term and a full view of what’s happening in Saskatchewan,” Krawetz said. “So beginning today, the focus of our budget and our financial statements will be a summary focus, which includes all aspects of government revenue and spending.”
The Provincial Auditor supports the new budget presentation.
“Our office strongly supports these changes,” Acting Provincial Auditor Judy Ferguson said. ”They will eliminate confusion and help legislators and the public better understand the Government’s finances.”
A budget surplus of $71 million is forecast, taking into account all Government Business Enterprises including commercial Crown corporations, and Government Service Organizations which include ministries, boards of education and health regions, among others.
Revenue for 2014-15 is projected at $14.07 billion, down 0.7 per cent from last year, while expense is estimated to be $14.0 billion, down 0.2 per cent from last year. This year’s budget invests in infrastructure and people, aligning with the goals and priorities of the Saskatchewan Plan for Growth.
Saskatchewan’s commercial Crown corporations, including SaskPower, SaskTel and SaskEnergy are projected to spend $2.0 billion on capital projects in 2014-15, up $100 million or 5.3 per cent from last year.
In addition to Crown capital investments, $886.9 million will be spent on a range of government infrastructure projects this year, an increase of $39.4 million or 4.7 per cent. The capital budget includes key investments in schools, health care facilities including hospitals and long-term care facilities, post secondary institutions, roads, highways and municipal infrastructure.
“Our government continues to build and upgrade infrastructure right across the province, meeting the challenges of growth and planning for future growth,” Krawetz said. “Whether schools or hospitals, highways or high-speed data networks, power generation plants, bridges or natural gas transmission lines, our government is building for the future.”
Government will invest $664.5 million to build, maintain and operate Saskatchewan’s highways and transportation system, keeping the government on track to meet its commitment to spend $2.2 billion on transportation infrastructure over four years.
Key infrastructure investments include:
Due diligence associated with the Regina Bypass P3 Project and work on the west portion of the bypass continues this year.
The government is also making a commitment toward funding a new commuter bridge in the north industrial area of Saskatoon. Planning will begin this year with funding expected to flow in 2015-16.
This year’s budget also makes key investments in people and quality of life. These include:
Government has also chosen to maintain the current provincial tax provisions for credit unions, including the special income tax reduction and the exemption from paying the provincial capital tax, recognizing the restraints credit unions face related to raising capital as well as their important place in the economy of our province.
“This budget strengthens government’s fiscal accountability, while meeting the challenges of a growing province,” Krawetz said. “It helps secure a better quality of life for all Saskatchewan people and it represents another confident step forward by our government on the path of steady growth.”
For more information, contact:
Email: [email protected]
Read about the 2014-15 Budget
|News release: Balanced Budget Keeps Saskatchewan on the Path of Steady Growth [backgrounder]|
|News release: Investing in Infrastructure Needed for a Growing Province [backgrounder]|
|Finance Minister Ken Krawetz’s budget address (English)|
|Finance Minister Ken Krawetz’s budget address (French)|
|Budget Highlights (English)|
|Budget Hightlights (French)|
|Government Direction for 2014-15 (from the Budget book)|
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