News Release Archive

Nova Scotia's balanced budget policy is getting a favourable

The international debt rating agency, Standard and Poor's
announced late yesterday that it is upgrading its outlook on Nova
Scotia's debt. The rating agency said the outlook is now stable
instead of negative. A news release from Standard and Poor's said
the change in outlook, "acknowledges the government's success in
meeting its deficit goals in the past three years."

Finance Minister Bill Gillis said the change means the province
will have an easier time refinancing its outstanding net direct
debt of $8.7 billion dollars. Dr. Gillis said the institutions
that buy our bonds make investment decisions based upon ratings
by agencies such as Standard and Poor's. He said our ability to
borrow, at low interest rates, is improved by the change in
rating outlook.

Dr. Gillis said this change in outlook endorses the government's
policy to balance the budget, and maintain the balance, as the
correct one. He said over time it means we will be able to
refinance our debt at a lower cost, leaving more money for the
province to spend on programs, cut taxes or begin a program of
real debt reduction.

Standard and Poor's said the change in the rating reflects the
province's diversified economy, which has improved in the past
two years following a difficult period in the early 1990's. The
rating agency said in fiscal 1996, the province's budgetary
performance improved for the third year in a row, "the government
has persevered with fiscal restraint, managing to hold operating
spending growth to well below inflation in the past three fiscal


Contact: Bruce Cameron  902-424-8787

trp                    Oct. 01, 1996 - 10:50 a.m.