November 30, 2015

Mid-Year Update Shows Slight Improvement to the Bottom Line

The provincial government continues to control and reduce spending to offset a nearly $400 million drop in non-renewable resource revenue since the 2015-16 Budget was introduced in March.

“The continued decline in the oil price has increased the financial challenge facing the province,” Finance Minister Kevin Doherty said.  “However, by controlling government spending, we have been able to reduce the forecast deficit since first quarter by $30 million.”

The Mid-Year Report released today projects a reduced year-end deficit of $262 million on a more than $14 billion budget.

More than $107 million in spending restraint has been undertaken by ministries, agencies and Crown corporations since the province’s first quarter forecast.

Expense at mid-year is down $62 million from first quarter but up $99 million from budget, reflecting forest fire costs as well as additional spending to support those who are most vulnerable and who truly need support.  The spending increase from budget is less than one per cent.

Revenue is down $32 million from first quarter and $270 million from budget.  Significant decreases in non-renewable resource revenue and consumption taxes are partially offset by increases in Government Business Enterprises net income and transfers from the federal government.

As a next step in government’s transition to summary budgeting, the fiscal year end of Crown Investments Corporation entities is being changed from December 31 to March 31.  This change will better align planning, budgeting and reporting across the two major components of the summary entity.

“Over the past six years, Saskatchewan’s economy has grown and ranked in the top three of many economic indicators,” Doherty said.  “With that backdrop as well as our diversity and sound economic fundamentals, we are well positioned to weather these challenges, and we will.”