Saskatchewan balances operational budget, but needs to reduce debt
Mar. 20, 2019
REGINA, SK: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is thanking Premier Scott Moe for keeping a key part of his pledge to taxpayers by balancing the operational budget, but continues to call on the government to reduce the debt.
“When Scott Moe campaigned to be premier, he signed a taxpayer protection pledge to balance the operational budget by 2019 and today he delivered that promise,” said Todd MacKay, Prairie Director for the CTF. “The next promise in the pledge is to start reducing the debt and the province needs to control spending to make that a reality.”
The Saskatchewan government’s budget is projecting an operational surplus of $34.4 million. Expenses are projected to rise by $382 million and revenues are projected to rise $781 million. There are no tax increases.
“Balancing the operational budget is important, but the government is counting on a lot of new revenue rather than reducing expenses,” said MacKay. “It’s important to remember that Saskatchewanians will pay $1.1 billion in higher taxes due to the PST hike of two years ago. Here’s the reality – the operational budget is balanced because Saskatchewan taxpayers are paying a lot more tax.”
While the operational budget is balanced, the province’s overall debt continues to rise. This year, Saskatchewan’s taxpayer-supported debt (excluding Crown debt) will rise from $10.8 billion to $12 billion and it’s projected to hit $15 billion in 2023.
“The second part of the premier’s taxpayer protection pledge is to start reducing the provincial debt by 2022,” said MacKay. “The clock is ticking on that promise while the overall debt is projected to go up by billions.”
Information about the taxpayer protection pledge is available at this LINK.