Global Halifax | Live Event | Nova Scotia Budget 2011-2012

Nova Scotia Budget 2011-2012

The Nova Scotia government will release the provincial budget on Tuesday April 5, 2011.

  • Finance Minister Graham Steele's budget prediction for 2011-2012

  • $447 million surplus: N.S. gets budget shock ahead of budget drop

    HALIFAX, N.S. - Darrell Dexter promised to bring change when Nova Scotians elected an NDP government in 2009, but no one expected the shock the premier just gave the province.

    The premier told the legislative assembly Tuesday, the night before the 2011 budget drops, his government had a $447 million surplus, $667 million more than the deficit it predicted last year.

    Dexter took the opportunity to point out it’s only the seventh time a Nova Scotia government ended a fiscal year with a surplus, but the opposition says with a “mistake” that big the NDP could use a math lesson.

    The Liberal leader says Dexter duped the province when it raised the HST last summer to 15 per cent.

    “Nova Scotians can now understand they cannot trust a word that comes out of this NDP government,” says Stephen McNeill.

    “They know they've inflated expenses intentionally. They did it so they could dig into the pockets of Nova Scotians. They did it so they could raise taxes, raise user fees.”

    Dexter says he plans to put the surplus towards paying down the provincial debt, which at the start of the 2010-2011fiscal year stood at $13 billion.

    Finance Minister Graham Steele will table the new budget this afternoon, predicting a $370 million deficit.

    With Tuesday night’s surplus announcement, critics both in and out of the legislature are already calling on Dexter to roll back the HST and are asking why school boards must close down schools in the next year.
  • RT @zuppatheatre: It's budget day in #NovaScotia. @NSNDP will arts & culture programs be cut? We need a creative economy.#nsbdgt11 @nspoli
  • HALIFAX - Nova Scotia Premier D HALIFAX - Economic and health-care initiatives will be the focus today when the Nova Scotia government tables its latest budget.

    Finance Minister Graham Steele says the N-D-P's third fiscal plan will put the province on track to balance the province's books by 2013-14.

    He says the budget will include a deficit near the province's earlier projection of around 370 (m) million dollars.

    The document will also flesh out details of the government's job creation plan, announced last fall.

    In particular, Steele says there will be measures to attract more high-tech firms to the province.

    (The Canadian Press)
  • This is what #nsbudget lockup looks like, folks.

  • Take our online poll: What would you like to see in today's 2011 #nsbudget announcement? #nspoli
  • #NovaScotia has performed better-than-expected through a global recession but we have more work to do. Stay tuned for #nsbdgt11 #nspoli
  • So tourism min. shouldn't promote province but finance min. can promote #RIM's new #playbook on budget day and not a whisper #nspoli
  • N.S. Finance Minister goes high-tech with virtual budget shoes

    HALIFAX - Nova Scotia's finance minister put a new twist on the pre-budget tradition of buying new footwear today by displaying a pair of virtual shoes for reporters.

    The image Graham Steele displayed was on a tablet that hasn't been released yet by Research In Motion, which has a large operation in Halifax.

    Steele says a main theme of Tuesday's budget will be economic competitiveness and job creation.

    He says the other major component will be how health care spending is allocated.

    The minister says the budget will show that the government is on track to balance the province's books as planned by 2013-14.

    He has already said the deficit will come in near the province's earlier projection at around $370 million.
  • In April 2010, #NovaScotia debt was estimated to be 14 billion for the end of 2010/11. We reduced it to 13.068 billion. #nsbudgt11 #nspoli
  • Stay tuned after 2:15, when Finance Minister Steele will talk about the road ahead in the 2011-12 budget. #nspoli #nsbdgt11
  • Hey Dexter, since we have $447 million surplus this year, think we can get a tax cut?? #nspoli #bdgt2011
  • Finance Minister Graham Steele rises.
  • Graham Steele: It is my pleasure to present Nova Scotia's budget for the fiscal year 2011–12. This budget builds on the province's plan for change, that makes life better for families. It shows real progress on the road back to balance, which is the result of a good plan and sustained discipline. Nova Scotians will notice a real improvement in how the province's finances are managed, how important public services are delivered, and how we support and grow our economy. When this government came to office in 2009, the province was on an unsustainable financial path, facing a deficit of $1.4 billion and a debt of $16 billion in three years—if nothing changed. That's why, last year, I embarked upon the most extensive financial consultation in the province's history.
  • Budget Highlights

    The 2011–2012 budget builds on the province’s plan for change
    that makes life better for families, by investing in health care,
    creating good jobs and growing the economy, while living
    within our means.

    This is year two of a four-year plan to get the province back tobalance. This budget shows real progress and forecasts a surplus of $447.2 million for 2010–2011, which is the result of a good plan and sustained discipline.
  • Living Within Our Means

    Nova Scotia’s fiscal plan is on track. Government-wide spending
    reductions have resulted in savings of $170.0 million for the
    upcoming year, adding to the $54 million saved last year.
    • For the first time in 23 years, total spending is coming
    in under budget two years in a row.

    • The surplus for 2010–2011 will allow the government
    to reduce the provincial net debt by $37.8 million.

    • The debt-to-GDP ratio, a widely-used measure of
    financial health, will drop to 36.6 per cent.

    • Nova Scotia’s net debt is almost $1 billion less
    than estimated last year.
  • Graham Steele We are on track to balance the budget by 2013
  • Graham Steele: For every $1 in revenue we are committed to find $3-$4 in restraint.
  • Budget Highlights:

    There are some who suggest quick, deep cuts in public services.
    Others say there’s no real problem, and that spending should

    Others agree there’s a problem, but can’t or won’t
    provide meaningful alternatives.
    Nova Scotians overwhelmingly reject each of these unsustainable
    paths, and we agree with them.

    In this budget, we are taking the best path.

    The measures incorporated in this budget are thoughtful, reasonable, prudent, and measured.
  • Tax Changes:

    Personal Income Tax Credits

    The province will provide $11 million in personal tax relief to Nova Scotians for the 2011 taxation year.

    The government will
    • Increase the Basic Personal Amount—the money people earn before they have to start paying taxes—by $250. This means that Nova Scotia’s basic personal amount will rise to $8,481 from $8,231.

    • Increase non-refundable tax credits by the same proportion for eligible Nova Scotia taxpayers.

    These credits include amounts for the following: spouse or common-law partner, dependent, pension income, disability, caregiver, age, and infirm/dependents age 18 or older.
  • Graham Steele: For the past 10 years the average end of year spending was $277 million. It was 'March Madness" at it's worse.
  • Graham Steele At the end of 2014-15 debt-to-GDP ratio will be lower .. "despite the mess the previous government left behind."
  • Tax Reduction for Low-Income Seniors

    This year, the government will put up to $9.2 million back into the hands of seniors who receive the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS).

    Announced last year, the province is refunding the full amount of provincial income tax paid by these seniors. In early fall, the government expects to send rebate cheques to about 18,000 seniors who received the GIS in 2010.

    In 2011–2012, the Department of Finance is administering the program by using 2010 tax returns to assess eligibility and process the refund.
  • Gee Graham Steele was testy defending his budget. Taxes are up, why not just admit it? #nspoli
  • This just in: Blackberry Playbook displaying Graham Steele's virtual shoes was provided for free by RIM.
  • Film Industry Tax Credit and Digital Media
    Tax Credit Changes

    The government has reaffirmed its commitment to the film industry and these tax credit programs by enhancing the Film Industry Tax Credit and Digital Media Tax Credits, announced in December 2010.

    The province removed the total production costs cap for the film industry tax credit.

    This allows producers to claim between 50 and 65 per cent of eligible Nova Scotia labour without any cap, thereby encouraging them to hire locally.
  • How many times will Graham Steele utter the phrase "back to balance" this afternoon? #nspoli #nsbdgt11
  • NDP claims $447million surplus last year. However using the proper accounting method NDP say should be used it'sactually a deficit #nspoli
  • Better Care Sooner - Collaborative Emergency Care Centres:

    In smaller communities, people wait too long to access primary care, such as a family physician. By improving access to primary care we can also relieve pressure on emergency rooms.

    The Better Care Sooner plan calls for the implementation of Collaborative Emergency Centres (CECs) to address this problem.

    CECs will ensure same-day or next-day appointments. They provide communities with collaborative-care teams involving a mix of professionals and 24/7 access to emergency care.

    This government will

    • Open Collaborative Emergency Centres in at least four Nova Scotia communities this year. This includes investing up to $800,000 for salaries for paramedics and other health care providers.

    • Provide $3 million protection fund to help keep emergency rooms open.
  • This budget allocates $2.6M to start replacement of the emergency room at the Aberdeen Hospital. #nspoli #nsbdgt11
  • Budget 2011 contains $72 million to support major hospital and community health care projects across the province. This includes money for the following:
    • $2.6 million to build a modern, cost-effective and efficient emergency department at the Aberdeen Hospital.
    • construction of the new Colchester East Hants Health Centre in Truro
    • purchase and install three new radiation therapy units for the Capital Health District

    • improvements to the nursing home and hospital in Inverness

    • construction of community living units to provide more appropriate housing options for people with mental illness
  • N.S. budget tackles student debt, ER care

    Nova Scotia's Dexter government will change how emergency health-care reaches rural communities, cap student debt, and continue to trim the civil service.

    Finance Minister Graham Steele's second full-year budget projects a deficit of $389.6 million for the second time in two years, although the
    government announced Monday that it finished the last fiscal year with a $447-million surplus.

    "Last year's surplus is big enough that we will actually make a payment on the debt for the seventh time in the past 50 years," Steele told reporters before he delivered the budget in the House.

    Program spending will remain relatively flat, except for the reinstatement of university funding, which will cost the province $327 million.

    "Overall departmental spending is level," Steele said.

    "For every single new program we have reduced spending in order to provide money. ... What we are not doing is doing what the previous government did and that is just spend, spend, spend."

    He said he challenges the opposition "to say to us that these are things that are not priorities".

    The Chronicle Herald
  • The budget builds on the plan to improve health care for seniors. This government will

    • Hire four new nurse practitioners for nursing homes in Cumberland, South Shore, South West, and Cape Breton district health authorities, at a cost of $568,000.
    • Recruit additional nurse practitioners and other health-care providers to work in primary care settings and collaborative practices, including Collaborative Emergency Centres, at a cost of $1.5 million.
    • Add 169 new and 593 replacement nursing home beds, at a cost of $21 million.
    • Expand the Caregiver Benefit, at a cost of $1.8 million, helping seniors to remain at home in the communities they helped to build.
  • Creating Good Jobs and Growing the Economy

    Budget 2011–2012 builds on the province’s plan for change
    by investing in the jobsHere plan to create good jobs and
    grow the economy. jobsHere makes the most of our province’s
    advantages—our people, resources, and geography—through
    three priorities: learning the right skills for good jobs, growing
    the economy through innovation, and helping businesses be
    more competitive globally.
    • This government will invest more than $200 million
    in jobsHere.
    • The $25 million Productivity Investment Program
    will make businesses more productive.
    • The $1.8 million strategic co-operative education
    incentive will double the opportunities available to
    students to receive valuable, hands-on work experience.
  • Elephant in the room: can we believe the $390 million projected deficit? Or is that like last year's inflated deficit? #nspoli
  • Budget aims to improve health outcomes, use tax dollars more efficiently #nsbudgt11 #nspoli
  • Graham Steele: The historic Lower Churchill project ... is a game changer for Atlantic Canada.
  • RT @MasonMBurke: Hey Dexter, since we have $447 million surplus this year, think we can get a tax cut?? #nspoli #bdgt2011
  • Building for the Future

    The province’s first Capital Plan, released in December
    2010, is part of government’s desire to move towards greater
    transparency and accountability. In past years, capital
    expenditures were announced at the same time as operating
    spending—during the spring budget. Releasing a capital
    budget earlier in the fiscal year sends a clear signal of what
    government intends to do in the year ahead. It gives the
    private sector a much greater opportunity to prepare for
    upcoming projects.

    • The $560 million capital plan will go to build roads
    and bridges, schools, health-care facilities, housing,
    and more.
    • New projects will include information technology
    initiatives, an upgrade of the province’s 9-1-1 system,
    and the development of the new Northeast Nova
    Correctional Centre.
    • The plan includes $83.6 million for schools construction
    and renovations, including the construction of new
    schools in Bedford, Lunenburg, and Yarmouth.
  • RT @NSFinance: This budget allocates $4.4 million so that more than 800 Nova Scotians benefit from Lucentis. #nspoli #nsbdgt11
  • Helping Families and Seniors Make Ends Meet

    Government will provide targeted support to help approximately 75,000 Nova Scotia seniors, and others who live with low incomes, make ends meet.
    In the past two years, government created the Affordable Living Tax Credit and the Poverty Reduction Tax Credit, and removed the provincial portion of the HST from home energy, children’s clothing and footwear, diapers, and feminine hygiene products.

    Last year government committed to refund the full amount of provincial income tax to 18,000 seniors who received the Guaranteed Income Supplement. This year government will put $9.2 million back into the hands of seniors and also increase the seniors’ property tax credit.

  • Helping Families and Seniors Make Ends Meet cont'd:

    Budget 2011 goes even further. Through investments made in this budget, government will do the following:
    • Support people to enter and stay in the workforce, by
    −−investing $3.7 million annually so people on income assistance, including people
    with disabilities, will keep more of their earned income
    −−allowing income assistance recipients to keep $150 per month of employment income, in addition to the 30 per cent income exemption already in place
    −−doubling the flat-rate income exemption for persons with disabilities to
    $300, in addition to the 30 per cent income exemption already in place
    • Increase income assistance personal allowances by $15 per month as of July 1, 2011, enabling approximately 31,000 adults to better provide for themselves and their families.
    • Increase the Basic Personal Amount—the money people can earn before they have to start paying taxes—by $250.
    • Introduce fair drug pricing legislation to help reduce drug costs for Nova Scotians who depend on Pharmacare, and provide an additional $3 million in Pharmacare funding.
    • Index the new Affordable Living and Poverty Reduction tax credits to help low-income Nova Scotians make ends meet.
    This government will undertake additional measures to make life better for families, and to help them make ends meet.
  • No cuts to arts & culture programs, substantial tax credits for film industry. #nspoli #nsbdgt11
  • Since I feel the need to say something nice, I am glad the government is keeping the Film & Video Tax Credit #nspoli
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