News release

Government Introduces Balanced Budget, Projects Surpluses

Government introduced a balanced budget, today, April 19, while making investments in economic growth, education, and youth.

Budget 2016-2017 projects a $127.4 million surplus. The surplus includes a one-time revenue increase of $110.3 million because of federal and municipal contributions for the convention centre in Halifax.

The $110.3 million will go towards the debt to provide the fiscal capacity to launch a multi-year development of the QEII Health Sciences Centre, enhancing care for Nova Scotians and Atlantic Canadians. The budget's net position is $17.1 million.

"Our work and the sacrifices made by all Nova Scotians make the investments in today's budget possible," said Finance and Treasury Board Minister Randy Delorey. "This budget demonstrates what is possible when we stick to a plan and work together to build a stronger Nova Scotia."

The budget invests in opportunities for growth:

  • brings high-speed Internet to more rural homes and businesses ($6 million)
  • invests $10 million in the film and television industry
  • invests in wineries and vineyards for research, market development, and support for vintners and quality certification ($3.5 million)
  • invests in the Nova Scotia to Portland ferry, a key transportation link for business and tourism ($10.2 million)
  • supports refugees and immigration streams, and provides small-scale grants to groups who are helping settle refugees ($942,000)

The budget invests in education, youth, and jobs training:

  • subsidizes child care spaces, increases wage grants for early childhood educators, and supports child care centres in providing inclusive programming ($6.6 million)
  • continues $65 million investment in education over four years, by reducing class sizes in grades 3-6 ($6.4 million), implementing the Education Action Plan ($21 million) and adding four more Schools Plus sites ($500,000)
  • supports pre-schoolers with autism ($3.6 million)
  • doubles funding to the Graduate to Opportunity program ($1.6 million more in 2016-2017), helps employers provide summer jobs ($2.8 million, and provides co-op opportunities ($2.3 million)

The budget helps those who need it the most:

  • institutes a food bank tax credit to encourage farmers to donate produce to local food banks
  • increases income assistance by up to $20 per month for eligible people ($7.5 million)
  • increases funding to the Disability Support Program ($9.9 million)
  • increases funding for home support and nursing and other programs to keep seniors active and healthy in their communities as long as possible ($14.4 million)

The budget supports infrastructure and programs to improve the health of Nova Scotians:

  • provides capital grants to design and renovate the Victoria General and Dartmouth General hospitals ($3.7 million)
  • helps seniors to pay for Pharmacare costs ($3 million)
  • increases funding to meet orthopedic wait times ($1.9 million)

Revenue for 2016-2017 is an estimated $10.3 billion, a 3.5 per cent increase from 2015-2016. Expenses are an estimated $10.1 billion, an increase of 1.2 per cent from 2015-2016.

"We need strong finances to have a strong Nova Scotia," said Mr. Delorey.

Budget 2016-2017 also includes the Capital Plan and final forecast for 2015-2016. Additional appropriations for 2015-2016, totalling $57.5 million, were required to cover a pension valuation adjustment and unforeseen or unbudgeted expenses at the departments of Business, Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal and Communities, Culture and Heritage.

For more information about the 2016-2017 provincial budget, visit <a HREF="HTTP://www.novascotia.ca/budget"> www.novascotia.ca/budget</A> .

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Government introduced a balanced budget today (April 19th) while making investments in economic growth, education, and youth.

Budget 2016-2017 projects a $127.4 million surplus. The surplus includes a one-time revenue increase of $110.3 million because of federal and municipal contributions for the convention centre in Halifax.

The $110.3 million will go towards the debt to provide the fiscal capacity to launch a multi-year development of the QEII Health Sciences Centre, enhancing care for Nova Scotians and Atlantic Canadians. The budget's net position is $17.1 million.

Finance and Treasury Board Minister Randy Delorey says this budget demonstrates what is possible when we stick to a plan and work together to build a stronger Nova Scotia.

He says we need strong finances to have a strong Nova Scotia.

More information on the budget is on the department website.

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