News release

2013-14 Public Accounts Released

Government released the public accounts for the last fiscal year today, July 31.

The annual public accounts compare the actual financial results at the end of the fiscal year to the budget plan set out at the beginning of the year. An accountability document to taxpayers, it includes financial information of departments, Crown corporations and boards, salaries, payments to suppliers, and travel and other expenses.

The audited financial statements for the year ended March 31, 2014, show the deficit was $678.9 million, mainly attributed to sharply lower revenues and a large one-time expense. The 2013-14 budget estimated a $16.4-million surplus.

The one-time expense was a $318.3-million pension valuation adjustment, which was announced in the December forecast.

"The public accounts for 2013-14 further emphasize the difficult fiscal journey we have ahead and the importance of getting to sustainable public finances in this province," said Diana Whalen, Minister of Finance and Treasury Board. "A clear and deliberate approach for both the economy and the government will give us the ability to meet unexpected needs without relying on deficit budgets."

Total revenues were $10 billion, a decrease of $231.4 million from the estimate, due to a $145.6-million reduction in royalties from the Sable offshore primarily as costs to wind up the project have risen, and a prior-year reduction in personal income taxes and HST of $101.6 million.

Total expenses were $10.7 billion, an increase of $463.9 million from the estimate, primarily due to the pension valuation adjustment. This includes departmental spending, which increased $69.7 million. Some of increased funding was used to:

  • meet the needs of more Nova Scotians on social assistance and their complex cases
  • clear and salt the roads during a very stormy winter
  • enhance programming at public schools.

Year-end additional appropriations totalling $33.6 million were approved. Total appropriations for the year were $438.4 million, mainly due to the pension valuation adjustment.

Net debt was $14.8 billion, $772.7 million above budget estimate. This is a result of the deficit plus the net investment in capital assets. Net debt-to-GDP was 37.8 per cent.

The auditor general has provided an unqualified opinion of the public accounts for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014. In his opinion, the 2013-14 financial statements fairly present the consolidated financial position of the province in accordance with Canadian generally accepted accounting principles for the public sector.

Public Accounts Volume 1, containing the consolidated financial statements for the province, Volume 2 – Agencies and Funds, and Volume 3 – Supplementary Information, can be found at www.novascotia.ca/finance .

Government entities also released compensation over $100,000 for individuals as required by the Public Sector Compensation Disclosure Act. They can be found at www.novascotia.ca/finance .

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Government released the public accounts for the last fiscal year today (July 31st).

The audited financial statements for the year that ended March 31st, 2014, show the deficit was 678-point-9 million dollars, mainly attributed to sharply lower revenues and a large one-time expense. The 2013-14 budget estimated a 16-point-4 million dollar surplus.

Minister of Finance and Treasury Board Diana Whalen says that the public accounts further emphasize the difficult fiscal journey Nova Scotia has ahead and the importance of getting to sustainable public finances in this province.

Total revenues were 10 billion dollars, a decrease of 231- point-4 million dollars because of reduced provincial income taxes, HST and petroleum royalties.

Total expenses were 10-point-7 billion dollars, an increase of 463-point-9 million dollars, primarily due to a one-time public service pension valuation adjustment of 318-point-3 million dollars.

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