Finance Minister, Ken Krawetz released the provincial 2012-13 mid-year report on Tuesday. The report projects a $12.4 million pre-transfer surplus for the General Revenue Fund (GRF) at year end and an increased year-end surplus of $22.5 million for the Summary Financial Statements, up $7.7 million from budget. The Growth and Financial Security Fund is now projected to finish the year at $664.5 million.
This is of course splendid news, since Saskatchewan is about the only province to be able to claim it will be in shape to balance its budget.
The province’s, “continual growth, diverse economy and prudent expense management,” are the reasons being touted by Krawetz for keeping the books in the black.
“This mid-year report shows the benefits of growth,” Krawetz said. “Despite lower than expected resource revenues, our growing population and growing economy means a larger tax base and increased tax revenues to offset the declines in resources.”
The report goes on in stating, “Overall revenue is now forecast to be $11.24 billion, down $51.0 million from budget, largely due to lower prices and less demand for non-renewable resources. However, other key revenue sources are up from budget, including projected increases in personal income tax and other tax revenue related to the strong Saskatchewan economy.”
Even though projected resource revenue wasn’t met, we’re still able to meet expectations with the new tax revenue generated by Canadians flocking to one of the only provinces able to offer employment.
This is a permeable relationship, one that economies at any level of government wish they were dealing with. Economic growth is guaranteed on being able to offer viable resources to a demanding audience, which the province obviously has.
The one point in need of contention, is the continual projected growth needed for infrastructure thanks to all the new Canadians becoming brand new Saskatchewanians.
The report stated, “Overall expenses are up $31.6 million from budget to $11.23 billion, partly reflecting the continued costs of flooding in recent years.”
Natural occurrences are out of our hands –– if flooding occurs it has to be dealt with accordingly. That will also have to be said with the occurrence of continual population growth. A larger part of revenue is going to have to go into much needed infrastructure for roads, accommodation and utilities.
Overall provincial expenses are up, and they will continue to climb with every new family that comes to the province.