First 2020-21 Budget Update Highlights Impact of Pandemic

PRESS RELEASE

The first update on Budget 2020-21 shows the COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant impact on the province’s fiscal forecast.

Finance and Treasury Board Minister Karen Casey presented the update today, July 29. Government is forecasting a deficit of $852.9 million for the 2020-21 fiscal year, a $907.9 million change from the $55 million surplus anticipated in February.

“Our strong economy was an advantage entering this pandemic. However, we cannot diminish or underestimate the magnitude of what we are facing as a province and as a country,” said Ms. Casey. “We will put in the hard work and exercise the fiscal management needed to return the province to a position of economic strength, while continuing to support Nova Scotians.”

Additional appropriations are required for nine departments for a total of $443.4 million, with the majority of expenses related to protecting Nova Scotians and sustaining the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic.This is in addition to the $228.2 million in additional appropriations for projects to help stimulate the economy previously announced in June.

Quick Facts:

  • total revenue is projected to be $11.06 billion, down $532.1 million from budget, mainly due to decreased revenue from HST and Corporate Income Tax
  • overall expenses are projected $12.09 billion, up $470.3 million, mainly due to increased expenses related to the COVID-19 response
  • debt servicing costs are revised down by $21.9 million from budget
  • federal funding for the Safe Restart program and associated expenses will be included in the next forecast update once the agreement is finalized