November 29, 2017

2017-18 Budget Remains On Track at Mid-Year

Saskatchewan’s 2017-18 Budget remains on track, confirmed by the province’s mid-year financial report released today.

“Saskatchewan’s economy is performing well and is expected to post positive growth for the first time in two years,” Finance Minister Donna Harpauer said.  “The budget contingency is more than enough to offset unrealized compensation savings in 2017-18, as well as a $44 million net decline in government operations.”

At mid-year, the 2017-18 deficit projection is $679 million, $6 million less than the budget estimate of $685 million.

Revenue is projected to be down $53 million from budget, reflecting reductions in tax and resource revenue, largely offset by increases in the other revenue sources.

Expense is projected to be $9 million less than the budget estimate, with a large reduction in expected crop Insurance claims offset by utilization-driven spending increases for medical services, income assistance, child and family services, forest fire-fighting costs, and higher corrections custody counts.

“Compensation savings projected at budget are not likely to be achieved in 2017-18,” Harpauer said.  “This, combined with the lower revenue projection, fully uses the $300 million planned contingency established when the 2017-18 Budget was announced.  While it is taking longer than we would have liked, our government has asked employers to continue to pursue compensation savings, as part of continuing to manage our expenses very carefully as we pursue our plan to balance the budget by 2019-20.

“Overall, Saskatchewan’s finances and economy remain on track with budget expectations.  Fueled by a strong performance in the resource sector, Saskatchewan’s real GDP is forecast to grow by 1.5 per cent in 2017 and 2.2 per cent in 2018.  A return to normal crop production in 2018, in addition to rising oil prices and strong oilfield investment, is expected to support stronger growth in 2018.”