News Release Archive

  Nova Scotia will have a fully balanced budget in 1996-97
  - the first in 25 years - Premier John Savage said today,
  and he pledged that "as long as I am premier, we will
  continue to live within our means."
  At a Province House news conference, Premier Savage and
  Finance Minister Bernie Boudreau declared Nova Scotia's
  four-year expenditure control program a success, after just
  two years. However, both warned that difficult decisions
  will still be required to maintain and build on the
  province's fiscal and economic gains.
  "Fiscal recovery, and the social and economic benefits
  recovery will bring, required some very difficult decisions.
  And make no mistake, more tough choices will be needed to
  maintain stability and build security," the premier said.
  Mr. Boudreau added that the four-year expenditure control
  plan was designed to bring the spending of the province in
  line with its income. With a fully balanced budget in
  1996-97, that goal will be accomplished. Next week, the
  minister will release a white paper proposing a new plan for
  Nova Scotia's long-term financial security.
  The financial progress report, released today, shows a $37.3
  million surplus in the province's operating account for
  fiscal 1995-96. That is a $65.5 million improvement over the
  $28 million deficit estimated in last spring's budget.
  However, the government will still record a $151 million
  budgetary deficit this year, when capital costs are taking
  into account. In 1992-93 the budgetary deficit was $617
  Premier Savage said the tough choices his government made
  were the right choices for the province's economy and for
  the future of public programs and services.
  "They were the right decisions for Nova Scotians looking for
  work and the right decisions for Nova Scotians looking for
  hope. Our economic future depends on our competitive
  advantages, and only a financially secure Nova Scotia can
  offer those advantages," the premier said.
  Premier Savage pointed to the fact that 30,000 more Nova
  Scotians are working today than when his government came to
  office as evidence that the fiscal and economic plans are
  The tough financial decisions secured the future of vital
  government services in health care, education and social
  services, the premier said.
  "And, the decisions we made are right for young Nova
  Scotians whose future must be built on a solid foundation,
  not buried by a mountain of debt."
  The premier said Nova Scotia "still carries the burden for a
  generation of irresponsible government spending. That burden
  is a $9 billion debt and the ($1 billion) annual payments on
  that debt." The white paper Mr. Boudreau will release next
  week will address those problems.
  Mr. Boudreau said the white paper will set new goals for the
  "Now we must ensure that no government ever takes this
  province back to the brink of ruin. Now we must take aim at
  the debt, and begin to recover the billion dollars a year we
  lose to debt payments. And now we must improve and expand
  services responsibly, as we can afford them," said the
  "It's important to understand that our fiscal plans are
  always designed in support of our social and economic goals.
  Imagine what Nova Scotia can do in health care, in
  education, in all areas of our social responsibility, as we
  recover more and more of that $1 billion we now lose to debt
  payments. Imagine how our economic prospects will improve as
  our competitive advantages expand."
  The white paper, entitled Shaping the Future, will be
  released by the finance minister Wednesday, Feb. 7.
  Contact: Jim Vibert  902-424-4886
  trp                    Jan. 29, 1996 - 1:05 p.m.