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Nova Scotia 2012-2013 budget live blog

  • The #nsndp are trapped on set of Groundhog Day. We know we won the ship building contract, stop backslappin and start governing #nspoli
  • RT @NSNDP: #nsbdgt12 support for low-income Nova Scotians by increasing Income Assistance Personal Allowance NS Child Benefit, AFTC. #nspoli
  • Budget 2012 Builds on the Success of jobsHere:

    In its first year, the province’s Productivity Investment Program trained more than 6300 Nova Scotians and helped more than 200 businesses become more productive and competitive through capital funding and workplace training incentives.

    This year, $25 million will help more businesses make upgrades
    in machinery, clean technology, software, and hardware.

    Through a $1.5 million investment, Nova Scotia will focus
    on developing its International Commerce Strategy, a strategy
    that will help businesses compete globally and support
    entrepreneurs who want to go global.

    An additional $450,000 for the Business Development Program,
    $500,000 to increase the reach of the Productivity and Innovation
    Voucher program, and $200,000 to develop a Social Enterprise
    strategy that will support communities and businesses, and
    enhance their contribution to Nova Scotia’s economy.
  • jobsHere—$56.5 million
    Budget 2012 will
    • help fund the cost of technologically advanced machinery, clean technology, equipment,
    software, and hardware for companies—$15 million, Capital Investment Incentive
    • encourage companies to invest in skills development and certification—$9 million,
    Workplace Innovation and Productivity Skills Incentive
    • increase the number of work placement opportunities for students enrolled in universities and
    community colleges—$1.8 million, Strategic Co-operative Education Incentive
    • launch International Commerce Strategy to support companies competing internationally—
    $1.6 million
    • increase funding to small businesses to improve productivity and innovation by working with
    educational institutions—$500,000
    • implement a Social Enterprise Loan Guarantee Program—$2 million
    • implement a Social Enterprise Strategy—$200,000
    • help businesses become more globally competitive by increasing the Business Development
    Program—$450,000
    • support business.novascotia.ca to create an integrated approach to economic development for
    businesses—$200,000
    • focus on commercialization of research and capacity-building in our post-secondary sector, through
    investments in the Nova Scotia Innovation and Research Trust (NSRIT)—$5 million
    • create a regional venture capital fund to provide early-stage seed capital, in partnership with the
    private sector and other governments—$15 million
    • increase the number of trade apprenticeships—$3 million
    • launch HR Toolkit and Welcoming Workplaces program—$300,000
    • help increase skill sets through the Recognition of Prior Learning Project—$1.45 million
    • put career kiosks in high schools to help students think about jobs after graduation—$1 million
  • NS approves write-offs for 2011-12 t.co Health has write-offs of 18.5mil due mostly to uncollected ambulance fees #nspoli
  • the province seems to be punching their ticket to surpluses on the shipbuilding "never put all your eggs in one basket" #nspoli #nsbdgt12
  • #nsbdgt12: investing $5.5 million more in student assistance. Details of the investment will be announced in the
    coming days. #nspoli
  • Nova Scotia’s economic stability is tied to our ability to compete and respond to changes in the global market. This requires a vibrant, skilled, and adaptable workforce.

    Nova Scotia’s workforce strategy will build that workforce.

    The province will invest $8.2 million this year to put that strategy to work.

    This includes $2.5 million for apprenticeship, increasing the number of Nova Scotians in trades, and another $1 million toward workplace education.

    Last fall, I outlined Nova Scotia’s Jobs and Building Plan, which is the capital plan for 2012–13. I am pleased to confirm the Jobs and Building Plan as part of this budget.

    With 150 projects, this $610 million plan for jobs and infrastructure will generate direct employment equal to 4,500 full-time jobs, and spin-off employment for a further 3,100 Nova Scotians.

    All parts of Nova Scotia will see this plan in action, in the form of school construction, land purchases, capital grants, and upgrades to hospitals, museums, and highways—$281 million in highway upgrades alone.
  • #NSNDP did est. on Bowater, but couldn't do the math on Yarmouth Ferry. Int'l tourism/export market > Paper Mils #nspoli #justsaying #fail
  • Steel on N.S. Agriculture/Dal merger:

    Finally, under this heading, I would like to mention an exciting
    development for our agricultural industry.

    In Truro–Bible Hill, the province is in the process of finalizing
    a partnership that will position the Nova Scotia Agricultural
    College as an enhanced centre of excellence for applied research
    and a national leader in agriculture education.

    The merger between NSAC with Dalhousie will strengthen NSAC,
    benefit students, improve the economy of Bible Hill and Truro,
    and help NSAC fulfill its mission as a national and international
    leader in agriculture research, education, and innovation.
  • Steele on healthcare:

    Health, as we all know, is by far the biggest part of the budget.

    And for years it has also been the fastest growing. But under previous
    governments, that rapidly rising spending hasn’t done nearly enough
    to promote wellness and make Nova Scotians healthier.

    This government has reduced health-care administration costs
    to below the national average, and has cut the rate of growth of
    health spending.

    That is no small feat, especially compared to the records of previous governments.
  • NS budget: $2mil toward a new plan that will help make Nova Scotia a place where children eat well, move more, and grow up healthy #nspoli
  • Comparing the measures for the poor in the NS NDP budget and those in the current/recent ONT Lib Budget makes it clear: the #NDP cares more.
  • MT @nsgov: #Budget 2012 Continues Strong Fiscal Discipline t.co #nspoli #cdnpoli #Canada
  • Steele on drug prices

    This government has taken action to ensure better drug prices
    for Nova Scotians. Our fair drug pricing plan means that Nova
    Scotians are now paying less at the pharmacy counter. In 2012–
    13, prices will go down to 35 per cent of brand-name drugs, which
    is where they will stay. The province is also on track to spend $17
    million less on drugs than we would have without these changes.
  • Steele on mental health and addiction services:

    Mental health services need better support. This budget includes
    a significant investment—$3.8 million this year—to revamp
    mental health and addictions services in Nova Scotia, as part of
    our plan to provide better care sooner.
  • #nsbdgt12 will invest an additional $20 million in home care, including $6.5 million
    more for home-care nursing visits. #nspoli
  • RT @NSNDP: #nsbdgt12 Funding to Independent Living and Alternative Family Support
    programs up by $900,000, helping people with disabilities. #nspoli
  • Steele on education:

    Education is the second largest piece of the budget. We are
    dealing with a school system that has 30,000 fewer students
    than it did 10 years ago.
    This education budget will meet the needs of students in our
    schools today.

    The province’s new P–12 education plan, Kids and Learning
    First, will better prepare students for post-secondary education,
    good jobs, and active citizenship. Our education plan is the
    first to recognize that we all must do a better job of educating
    our children.

    It lays out a plan to do just that in a challenging environment of rapidly declining student enrollment.

    Parents want the very best for their children, including an
    education that’s as good as anywhere in the country.
  • @NSNDP Looking forward to hearing details and seeing what is in store for students and NSSAP with the $5.5M investment #nspse
  • @NSNDP Why can't the P.E.I government be more like you and helping out the future. #lowertution
  • Steele on education cont'd

    The province’s new P–12 education plan, Kids and Learning
    First, will better prepare students for post-secondary education,
    good jobs, and active citizenship.

    Our education plan is the first to recognize that we all must do a better job of educating our children. It lays out a plan to do just that in a challenging
    environment of rapidly declining student enrollment.
  • Steele on skilled trades courses:

    This $6.7 million multi-year plan will introduce a manufacturing
    trades course linked to shipbuilding. The plan will expand career
    development support, including more career coaching workshops
    for parents; the plan will double the number of schools offering
    skilled trades courses; and the plan will triple the number of
    students taking courses through virtual schools.This $6.7 million multi-year plan will introduce a manufacturing
    trades course linked to shipbuilding. The plan will expand career
    development support, including more career coaching workshops
    for parents; the plan will double the number of schools offering
    skilled trades courses; and the plan will triple the number of
    students taking courses through virtual schools.
  • Budget 2012: Not what was promised to Nova Scotians t.co #nspoli #ndpfail #nsbdgt12
  • Steele on affordable post-secondary education:

    Keeping post-secondary education affordable for Nova Scotians
    remains a top priority of this government.
    From 2004 to 2010, provincial funding for universities increased
    by 64 per cent, which was not sustainable. A new approach to
    funding was necessary.
    Last year, the province invested $42.5 million to keep tuition
    below the national average, increase assistance levels and
    the grant-to-loan ratio, and cap student debt for the first time
    in Nova Scotia’s history. This was the single largest annual
    investment for students made by any Nova Scotia government.
  • @NSFinance Is there any word on financing wastewater treatment facilities for municipalities like CBRM that can't afford it? #nspoli #cbpoli
  • This education budget will meet the needs of students in our schools today
  • Steel on keeping universities sustainable:

    Government has a responsibility to find a balance that provides adequate funding for universities and a fair tuition for students, while continuing programs and services that benefit our communities and our economy.

    With that in mind, the new memorandum of understanding between the province and Nova Scotia’s 11 universities aims at keeping tuition at, or below, the national average, increases research and development opportunities, and invests $25 million—$13 million this year—in a new Innovation Fund for universities to help them become more sustainable.

    It’s a plan aimed at protecting Nova Scotia students and helping universities remain competitive and sustainable for years to come. I am pleased to announce today that as part of Budget 2012, our government is investing $5.5 million more in student assistance. Details of the investment will be announced in the coming days, but suffice it to say that it will target even further improvements in student assistance, improvements that will
    demonstrate this government’s continued commitment to
    university and college students.
  • Steele on income assistance, employment support services:

    For the second year in a row, the Income Assistance Personal
    Allowance is going up. This July, it will increase by $9 per month.
    This comes on top of last year’s $15 increase, the largest boost
    people on Income Assistance had seen in a decade.
    Effective July 1st, families will see an increase of 5 per cent in
    the Nova Scotia Child Benefit, helping 24,000 families and
    almost twice as many children.
    At the same time, both the Affordable Living Tax Credit and
    the Poverty Reduction Tax Credit—each of them an initiative
    of this government—will be increased to help reduce the impact
    of rising prices on everyday needs.
  • Comm Serv: $ for affordable housing slashed fr 10.75 M to 4 M; Non-profit Housing programs slashed fr $12.2 M to $7.7 M #nspoli
  • Ndp budget not what we were promised not what we need #ndpfail #nspoli
  • Steele on keeping tax off home heat:

    And while I’m talking about affordability, I want to make it
    clear that this government will not tax home heating or home
    electricity. The previous government said they wouldn’t tax
    home heat, and then they did. We took the tax off home heat,
    and we will keep it off.
    Making life more affordable means a lot to this government
    because it means a lot to Nova Scotians. Our plan will help.
    It already has. Today we can see the brighter future. We are
    getting there. And when we get there we will have choices.
    That means ensuring Nova Scotians pay no more in tax than
    they absolutely have to for the services they receive.
  • Students hope that $5.5M for student financial aid in today's prov budget is going towards up-front needs-based grants #cfsfcee #nspoli
  • RT @nspc: Schools & hospitals are being cut but the NDP are adding over 500 people at the top & setting aside $100 mil for their union friends #nspoli
  • The NDP could have balanced the budget by holding the line on expenses & not adding 553 new employees to the gov't payroll. #nspoli #ndpfail
  • Steele on HST reductions:

    Next year, this province will have a real, sustainable surplus
    based on reliable revenues and reasonable expenditures.
    After that, our balance sheet will improve to the point where we
    can reduce the Harmonized Sales Tax by one per cent in 2014,
    and by another one per cent in 2015.
    Those reductions are now built into our four-year financial plan.
    We are sticking with our plan because it is working. Now Nova
    Scotians know our plan means HST reductions, when they are
    affordable.
  • Very disappointed #nsndp is not getting rid of income tax bracket creep. Would have helped everyone.
  • Steele on immigration strategy:

    Immigration will be a necessary component in addressing the
    impending labour shortages here in the province.
    Our immigration strategy is a comprehensive and focused plan to
    attract and keep innovative, skilled, and professional immigrants.
    It’s based on a solid business case that complements our workforce
    strategy and jobsHere to meet labour market and skills shortages.
    This year, we will invest $1.5 million in our strategy, to help
    immigrants settle and stay in Nova Scotia.
  • Steele on income taxes:

    This budget increases the dependent amount to $8,481 to match
    the basic personal amount. This non-refundable credit is claimed
    by filers with no spouse or common-law partner and who have
    children under the age of 18, providing total savings of $1.4
    million, or an average benefit of about $100 for about 14,000
    tax filers in Nova Scotia.

    We will also increase the spouse amount to $8,481 to match the
    basic personal amount. This non-refundable credit is claimed by
    filers with a spouse or common-law partner. This increase will
    provide total savings of $4.6 million, or an average benefit of
    over $100 to more than 44,000 tax filers in Nova Scotia.
  • Steele on income taxes cont'd:

    And this year’s budget will increase the disability amount to
    $7,341. This non-refundable credit is claimed by filers who are
    disabled or who have a dependent with a disability. It will provide
    an average benefit of over $250 to about 6,000 Nova Scotians.
    The province remains committed to ensuring that any senior
    whose income is low enough to receive the Guaranteed Income
    Supplement will get a refund of their provincial income tax.
    This initiative—a personal initiative of the Premier’s—is putting
    $7.7 million, or an average of about $450, into the hands of
    17,000 seniors.
  • A family of four is shelling out $4,000 more in higher HST. In return, their children face cuts in their schools and hospitals. #nspoli
  • The NDP added another $430.7 million to the debt this year. In total they've added $1.4 billion to NS's debt. #nspoli #ndpfail #nsbdgt12
  • Net debt has grown from $12.3 billion in 2009 to $13.7 billion in 2012-13. t.co nspoli #ndpfail #nsbdgt12
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