N.S. gov­ern­ment ta­bles bud­get

The Queens County Advance - - NEWS -

Fi­nance Min­is­ter Gra­ham Steele tabled the 2012-13 pro­vin­cial bud­get to­day on April 3.

“This bud­get re­flects strong dis­ci­pline and fol­lows through on the gov­ern­ment’s com­mit­ment to make life bet­ter for fam­i­lies in Nova Sco­tia,” said Steele. “Through good man­age­ment, we have re­stored sense to the prov­ince’s fi­nances. Get­ting back to bal­ance has not been easy, but now a bal­anced bud­get is just one year away.” Key ini­tia­tives in­clude: -- in­vest­ing in the job­shere plan to help busi­nesses be more pro­duc­tive, in­no­va­tive and com­pet­i­tive

-- re­duc­ing the small busi­ness tax rate for the third year in a row

-- pro­vid­ing mod­est in­come tax re­duc­tions for tens of thou­sands of Nova Sco­tians

-- sup­port­ing low-in­come Nova Sco­tians by in­creas­ing the In­come As­sis­tance Per­sonal Al­lowance, the Nova Sco­tia Child Ben­e­fit, the Af­ford­able Liv­ing Tax Credit, and the Poverty Re­duc­tion Credit

-- pro­vid­ing Bet­ter Care Sooner through in­vest­ments in Col­lab­o­ra­tive Emer­gency Cen­tres, hos­pi­tals and treat­ment op­tions, and men­tal health and ad­dic­tions

-- help­ing se­niors stay in their homes longer, and

-- in­vest­ing in the new Kids and Learn­ing First plan and in­creas­ing the per-stu­dent fund­ing to its high­est level ever.

The 2012-13 bud­get projects a deficit of $211.2 mil­lion. This is slightly bet­ter than the $215.8 mil­lion deficit an­tic­i­pated in the prov­ince’s four-year fis­cal plan.

Rev­enues for 2012-13, in­clud­ing net in­come from gov­ern­ment busi­ness en­ter­prises, are es­ti­mated at $9.3 bil­lion, an in­crease of $391.7 mil­lion over the 2011-12 es­ti­mates.

To­tal ex­penses for

fis­cal 2012-13

are bud­geted at $9.5 bil­lion. De­part­men­tal ex­penses are bud­geted at $8.5 bil­lion, up $189.9 mil­lion from 2011-12.

The 2012-13 bud­get will re­duce the pro­vin­cial tax rate for small busi­nesses for the third year in a row. Ef­fec­tive Jan. 1, 2013, the rate of cor­po­rate in­come tax for small busi­nesses will drop to 3.5 per cent from four per cent. The small busi­ness tax rate, which was five per cent in 2010, was low­ered half a per­cent­age point in both 2011 and 2012. These de­creases rep­re­sent a 30 per cent drop in the small busi­ness tax rate. El­i­gi­ble small busi­nesses can ap­ply this rate on the first $400,000 of tax­able in­come.

This bud­get also out­lines changes to per­sonal in­come tax, which will re­turn $7.5 mil­lion to about 78,000 Nova Sco­tian tax­pay­ers this year. The de­pen­dent amount and spouse amount will in­crease to $8,481 to match the ba­sic per­sonal amount. Ad­di­tion­ally, the dis­abil­ity amount will in­crease to $7,341. These changes will be in ef­fect for the 2012 tax year.

As re­flected in March’s 2011-12 fore­cast up­date, the prov­ince’s spend­ing came in be­low es­ti­mate. This is the first time since at least 1967 that this has hap­pened three years in a row. Con­tin­ued re­straint and good fis­cal man­age­ment will re­sult in a $260.8-mil­lion deficit for 2011-12, an im­prove­ment of $128.8 mil­lion from the bud­get es­ti­mate.

Nova Sco­tia’s over­all net debt is es­ti­mated at $13.3 bil­lion as of March 31, 2012, $457 mil­lion less than was es­ti­mated in April 2011. The prov­ince’s debt-to-gdp ra­tio, a widely used in­di­ca­tor of fis­cal health, con­tin­ues to get bet­ter. It now stands at 35.2 per cent.

For more in­for­ma­tion on the 2012-13 pro­vin­cial bud­get, visit www.gov.ns.ca.

Fi­nance Min­is­ter Gra­ham Steele shakes hands with Premier Dar­rell Dex­ter af­ter tabling Bud­get 2012 in the House of Assem­bly.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.