Well, the Saskatchewan Budget was released today and it was pretty boring, to be honest.
Small increases in alcohol and tabacco taxes help pay for a 3.1% increase in spending.
That’s less than expected inflation and population growth and ensures a small surplus, meaning Saskatchewan remains as the only province without a deficit.
Personally, I don’t think you should get any credit for not having a deficit, you just shouldn’t get pilloried!
But credit should be given for a budget that has what looks like some pretty reasonable assumptions.
The Albertan budget assumes much higher resource prices than are probably realistic as well as inflated tax revenues and still managed to have a huge deficit.
Meanwhile, the Saskatchewan assumptions seem pretty reasonable.
There have been some complaints about the revenue/expenditure/assets/debt of the various crown corporations being separated out from the provincial government books.
Had those crown figures been included the books would actually show a deficit.
It’s debatable whether it’s reasonable to include commercial (though state owned) business in government books, but to me it sounds like just another good reason to sell of some of these poor performing assets.
Should they really be called “state assets” if they’re losing you money – maybe we should start calling them “state liabilities”.