High­lights, low­lights

The Amherst News - - NOVA SCOTIA BUDGET - By Fram Din­shaw SaltWire Net­work

With the re­lease of the gov­ern­ment’s 2017 fall bud­get, here is a run­down of how it will im­pact Nova Sco­tians.

1. Any­one own­ing a small busi­ness is in luck: up to 1,800 are el­i­gi­ble for a tax break as the thresh­old has been raised from $350,000 to 500,000.

2. Af­ford­able hous­ing in NS is re­ceiv­ing a $38 mil­lion cash in­jec­tion, in­clud­ing for build­ing new units.

3. The gov­ern­ment is putting $40 mil­lion to mu­nic­i­pal clean wa­ter and waste­water projects.

4. Se­niors stand to gain from $3.2 mil­lion to boost food bud­gets and recre­ational ac­tiv­i­ties for those in long-term care homes.

5. School stu­dents will get $1.8 mil­lion for com­mu­nity and men­tal health sup­port through School­sPlus

6. Univer­sity stu­dents will gain from $1.7 mil­lion more for the Grad­u­ate to Op­por­tu­nity Pro­gram, which links up Mas­ter’s and PhD grad­u­ates with em­ploy­ers.

7. Tourism is re­ceiv­ing a $2 mil­lion boost to re­vi­tal­ize ma­jor at­trac­tions.

8. Get­ting around should be­come eas­ier as high­ways are twinned and $10 mil­lion is go­ing to­wards gravel road main­te­nance.

9. The 2017-18 bud­get projects a $131.6 mil­lion sur­plus, in­clud­ing a one-time in­crease of $110.3 mil­lion from fed­eral and mu­nic­i­pal con­tri­bu­tions for the con­ven­tion cen­tre in Hal­i­fax.

10. The bud­get also in­cludes the Cap­i­tal Plan in­vest­ing $515 mil­lion in roads, schools, health­care and in­fra­struc­ture.

Low­lights

1. Pro­jected rev­enues are down by $13.1 mil­lion com­pared to April’s fig­ures.

2. At the same time, de­part­men­tal ex­penses are up by $19.1 mil­lion.

3. The gov­ern­ment has faced crit­i­cism over the level of fund­ing for men­tal health and ad­dic­tions – point­ing to the clo­sure of the Aberdeen Hospi­tal’s men­tal health unit – which is un­likely to re-open.

4. The pro­jected $131.6 mil­lion sur­plus is lower than the $149.6 mil­lion sur­plus from 2016-17.

5. Global de­vel­op­ments such as Brexit, a pos­si­ble rene­go­ti­a­tion of NAFTA and eco­nomic growth in China may harm Nova Sco­tia’s econ­omy and neg­a­tively im­pact fu­ture bud­gets.

Ris­ing in­ter­est rates rais­ing house­hold debt costs and pro­vin­cial debt ser­vic­ing may also threaten Nova Sco­tia’s eco­nomic

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