Finance Minister Ken Krawetz today said the provincial budget surplus remains intact, even with a $150 million allowance for flood related costs. Krawetz released the First Quarter Financial Report today.
The projected surplus is $75 million, up $3.5 million from budget, despite the flood allowance, largely due to a projected increase in total revenue of $169 million.
“The final cost of the flooding which devastated many Saskatchewan communities earlier this summer is still being determined,” Krawetz said. “However, we are setting aside $150 million for flood-related expenses.”
Total revenue for 2014-15 is now forecast at $14.242 billion including an increase of $110 million from non-renewable resources and an increase of $81 million from Government Business Enterprises, which are primarily Crown Corporations.
Total expense for 2014-15 is now forecast at $14.167 billion, up $165 million from budget, with the bulk of this increase being the $150 million flood allowance.
“This is the benefit of a growing economy,” Krawetz said. “It means we can assist Saskatchewan people and communities hurt by flooding and still project a $3.5 million increase in the 2014-15 surplus. This is what steady growth is all about - putting Saskatchewan in a strong position, even in years when we are hurt by extreme weather or by the uncertainties of the global economy.”
So far in 2014, Saskatchewan continues to post the lowest unemployment rate among Canada’s provinces, the fastest growth in manufacturing sales and the second-fastest growth in employment, housing starts and retail sales.