The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is lauding the province’s Finance Minister, Donna Harpauer, for her hard work.
A release from the organization says, amongst other things highlighted, Saskatchewan will save about $15 million on interest charges yearly due to the decrease in the operational deficit.
CTF Prairie Director Todd MacKay said that’s critically important.
“That’s $15 million we’re not sending to hedge fund managers on Bay Street and Wall Street,” he said. “That’s $15 million that we can keep in Saskatchewan to run our hospitals and schools.”
Another area of interest in the release is agriculture funding coming at $315 million under budget, which was due in large part to a strong crop year last year for Saskatchewan farmers.
“We were blessed with rain and sun at the right time,” said MacKay. “It could have been a real wreck, and it could have cost the government a lot of money to pay out the insurance on that. Because that crop turned out ok, it saved the government a lot of money.”
The release also states operational spending on the whole from the government of Saskatchewan came in at $489 million under budget.
MacKay said, to him, that appears to be a sign of a strong message being delivered from Minister Harpauer to her fellow ministers.
“One of the hardest things for a Finance Minister to do is to start saying “no” to other ministers when they start asking for more money,” he said. “She clearly has gone back to those ministers and said ‘Look, you have to re-prioritize within your own budget, we don’t have more money to spend.”