The Saskatchewan Government is happy to report another reduction in the deficit Friday morning as they release their third quarter financial report.
At third quarter, the 2017-18 deficit projection is $595 million, $101 million lower than the forecast deficit of $696 million at budget.
Revenue is projected to be $13.9 billion at third quarter, down $222 million (1.6 per cent) from budget.
Finance Minister Donna Harpauer says while revenue is down, spending is also down to keep the budget on track.
“Reduction in revenues is largely due to a reduction in personal income tax, and that nominally happened across our entire nation, where there was an over-estimation of the personal income tax,” Harpauer says. “We used the 2016 year for the assessment, and right across the nation those numbers were not accurate.”
However, the official opposition is not impressed with the projection. Cathy Sproule says the provincial government is using funding cuts to service debt.
“If you look at the cuts in education, for example, rather than putting it back into the classrooms, they’re using it to service their debt,” Sproule says. “If you look to the changes in Agriculture, people suffering from wildfires, they’re not putting that money back in Agriculture, and the same with of course community development and municipalities.”
The 2018 budget is set to be released April 10th.
(Files from Ryan McNally)