The mid-year provincial budget update is welcome news, according to the CFIB.
The Saskatchewan government announced on Thursday that their budget remains on track at mid-year to return to balance in 2019-20 and the public debt is expected to be lower come March 2019, at $19.8-billion.
Vice President Marilyn Braun-Pollon says the CFIB is also encouraged about the provinces plan to balance the books. “This is certainly a contrast to the federal government who has no plan to balance or our neighbors to the west or the east who continue to run massive deficits. So those are encouraging signs.
Braun-Pollon says the province needs the continue to spend smart. “Given that we have close to 57,000 public sector workers without a contract, it will be important for the province to contain costs and not sign onto costly gold-plated contracts going forward because we need to get back to balance.”
She adds that Saskatchewan’s promise of no dramatic measures for the budget is encouraging and welcomed news. “We have optimism levels now low in Saskatchewan. One in five businesses are planning layoffs so there is a lot on uncertainty. So if we can have some certainty that we are on track to get back to balance, that will be welcome news.”
Another highlight from the mid-year budget looks shows a expenses are forecast to be up just over $121-million from budget time. Almost 50 percent of that increase is pension expense, reflecting changes in interest rates.