Health prioritized in Nova Scotia budget with $278M deficit
Nova Scotia projects a deficit of $278.9 million.
Houston government ministers applaud Allan MacMaster after the provincial budget was presented Thursday in Halifax.
Nova Scotia projects $278.9 million deficit, but announces several health investments.
The Progressive Conservative government anticipates revenues of $14.2 billion for the year 2023-2024 and expenditures reaching $14.4 billion.
- Health: +587 M $
- Municipal Affairs and Housing: +$153M
- Seniors and Long Term Care: +$127M
- Education: +$122M
The Ministry of Health sees its budget increase by half a billion to 4.8 billion.
In total, health spending is estimated at $6.5 billion, a 13% increase from last year's budget, which estimated health spending at $5.7 billion.
“Health care faster,” reads the cover of the document that Finance Minister Allan MacMaster presented Thursday at the Legislative Assembly.
For example, the government plans to spend $110 million this year to financially encourage nurses to stay in the public system and more than $4 million to reduce wait times for surgery.
To support the province's economy, the government of Tim Houston plans to continue and expand its tax refund program to certain categories of workers. It includes nurses working for the public sector.
In education, the government plans to spend $47 million to help public schools meet rising enrollment and rising costs.
The budget of the Ministry of Education is increasing slightly, but it will be necessary to wait for the vote of the budget by the Legislative Assembly to know the share granted to the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial (CSAP), which manages the province's francophone schools.
In the area of housing, the province plans to spend more than $45 million to support rent payments and housing maintenance programs as well as investment in public housing. /p>
Tim Houston's government has not announced tax cuts or other key measures to help Nova Scotians weather inflationary pressures.
To fight poverty, the government is providing, among other things, $8 million in assistance for homeless people and housing for people with special needs, and $8 million for the provincial child benefit.< /p>
Premier Tim Houston (left) and his finance minister, Allan MacMaster ( right), enter Province House, Thursday.
Economic growth is expected to slow in Nova Scotia in 2023. The provincial government anticipates nominal growth of 4% in 2023 and 3.4% in 2024.
Adjusted to ;inflation, the growth rate is estimated at 0.6% in 2023 and 1.1% in 2024.
In a written statement, the Leader of the Liberal Official Opposition, Zach Churchill, says the Houston government is spending more Nova Scotians' money and getting nothing done.
Zach Churchill, Leader of the Liberal Official Opposition, comments on the budget, Thursday at Province House.
He calls the MacMaster budget the worst of both worlds: out-of-control spending, with no results.
According to Zach Churchill, this budget does nothing to match the Neo- Scottish to a family doctor, fails to offer solutions to the housing crisis, in addition to freezing income support at a time when everything becomes more expensive.
The Prime Minister Tim Houston, who took power in the summer of 2021 after two Liberal terms, defended the spending in this budget on Thursday afternoon.
We enter government after more than eight years of cuts and restrictions. We have a lot of work to do to catch up, he said.