A look at some key elements of the 2017-18 budget
published on February 21, 2017 by The Canadian Press in News 1130
VICTORIA – A look at some of the major elements of the B.C. government’s 2017-18 budget introduced Tuesday by Finance Minister Mike de Jong:
Government departments will get almost $3 billion more in their operating budgets over the next three years.
Total government expenses are forecast to rise from $50.2 billion in 2017-18 to $51.6 billion in 2019-20.
The surplus is projected to steadily decline over the next three years, from $295 million in 2017-18 to $223 million in 2019-20.
Those are more modest surplus forecasts compared with the projected surplus of $1.5 billion in the fiscal year that ends on March 31.
“Our balance sheet is the envy of the nation,” said de Jong.
If the government hits its targets, the 2017-18 budget will be the fifth straight to record a surplus.
He has set aside a contingency fund of $400 million in the next fiscal year to cover unexpected costs.
The government estimates the total provincial debt will stand at about $69.8 billion in 2017-18, up from a forecasted $66.7 billion in 2016-17.
A variety of private sector forecasts put B.C. economic growth rate at 2.1 per cent in 2017, among the country’s top performers.
The Ministry of Finance says B.C.’s economy grew by three per cent in 2016.
But de Jong is also sounding a note of caution in his budget speech, warning that uncertainty about trade with the United States and declining world demand for resources could threaten the province’s economic success.
“World markets are still in flux, resource prices have not yet recovered, and political changes in our neighbours to the south have us cautious about making too many assumptions about the future,” he says in the speech.View the full article