The provincial budget tabled in the Legislature not only offers a guide of what the provincial treasury will take in and what it will spend, but it also offers some indications of how the overall economy is performing. Strong revenues, for example, suggest an economy that is performing well.
So, how is the economy faring with COVID-19?
The pain, based on this latest update, is centred around the income you and I are seeing. Personal tax revenue to the government is a proxy for how our pocketbooks are performing. This year is likely to be weaker than last year.
Income or profit for corporations is a slightly different story. Last year turned out to be a more challenging year than the government had originally forecast, so the amount of corporate tax the government received was down by roughly 40 per cent compared to the budget a year ago.
This year, the finance department expects a better performance, but still below last year’s original forecast. In short, business will not recover to pre-pandemic levels for at least another year.