The mid-year financial report was released Tuesday by the Saskatchewan government, and it shows a deficit north of one billion dollars.
What pushes the deficit past the mark are a repayment of 236-million dollars to businesses from a surplus at the Worker’s Compensation Board; if the it wasn’t made, the province would be staring at an 806-million million dollar deficit.
Expenses were up 285-million because of cost pressures from health care, social services, and high crop insurance claims. Revenues in tax and the non-renewable and potash sectors dipped to 400-million and 320-million respectively.
To try and stop the bleeding, Finance minister Kevin Doherty says there will be spending restrictions in place for government and crown corporations; on paper this will save 217-million dollars.
Doherty adds everything’s on the table in an effort to trim the deficit, not only in the aforementioned restraints, but also the possibility of tax increases and cuts.
On the other side of the floor, the opposition NDP say the government has once again mismanaged it’s finances.
Finance critic for the NDP, Cathy Sproule says blaming the deficit on the loss in revenues in the non-renewable resource sector isn’t an excuse.
Sproule also expressed concern about job losses, claiming the government continues cutting essential services in the areas of health care, education, and social services.