The Saskatchewan government unveiled its 2023-24 Budget to a full house at the Legislature in Regina on Wednesday afternoon. As expected, the new fiscal plan tabled by Finance Minister Donna Harpauer, entitled “Growth That Works For Everyone”, focuses on alleviating cost-of-living and health-care pressures in the province.
The budget was brought down on the same day as the Government of Saskatchewan announced that the population of the province grew by 29,307 people in 2022, bringing the total population now to 1,214,618. That’s the largest increase in population for the province in a single year since 1914.
Overall, the Budget projects a $1 billion surplus, based on $19.7 billion in forecasted revenue, up 14.7% from last year’s budget, largely due to higher corporate tax, personal tax, PST, and non-renewable resource (i.e. oil, gas, potash) revenues. Meanwhile, expenses are expected to rise $1 billion to $18.7 billion, up almost 6% from last year’s budget.
In addition, the Budget forecasts $1 billion in operating debt will be paid down in the coming fiscal year.
Other key expenditure numbers from the 2023-24 Saskatchewan Budget include:
- 6.6% increase in healthcare spending to $6.9 billion to “strengthen the healthcare system” and further attract, train, and retain healthcare professionals, including close to $100 million for the new Health Human Resources (HHR) action plan
- $42.5 million more to fund “the largest volume of surgical procedures in the history of the province”
- $192.8 million in new funding for education, up to $3.1 billion, representing a 6.7% increase over last year
- $382.4 million for early learning and childcare, an increase of more than $72 million (23.3%) from the last budget, including funding to help reduce childcare fees to $10/day
- $764.8 million for post-secondary education, a 3.3% increase of $24.5 million
- $1.7 billion in spending for social assistance
- $1 billion for public safety and the justice system, including $7 million to establish the new Saskatchewan Marshals Service (SMS) to increase policing in rural and remote areas
- Municipal revenue-sharing of $287.9 million, an increase of $35.3 million from the previous budget
- $249 million in targeted funding for Indigenous and Metis individuals and groups, up 6.8% compared to last year’s plan.
Finally, Budget 2023-24 announces a “record” $3.7 billion in capital spending for the upcoming fiscal year, and $15.2 billion over the next four years on highways, schools, hospitals and other key projects.
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For more information and insights about what these developments mean for the business sector in Saskatchewan, please reach out to our experts:
Theo Bryson – Senior Strategy Advisor
Kevin Doherty – Vice President
June Draude – Senior Strategy Advisor
Tom Lukiwski – Senior Strategy Advisor
Bronte Prosser – Strategy Advisor
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