Three months into the Saskatchewan government’s fiscal year and already the treasury is ahead by more than $1.5 billion.
Back in March when the provincial budget was tabled, it was clear that the government had under-estimated its revenues.
The spring document was based on $75-a-barrel oil. The price has been closer to $100 a barrel since the first day of this fiscal year.
Over the course of a year, every dollar is $17 million, a variance sufficient to erase a half billion-dollar deficit and put the books in the black.
Resource royalties for potash are strong, income tax is up and with a much better crop this first quarter report is only the beginning of what is increasing looking like that year back in the Brad Wall days when the surplus came in $2 billion over estimate.
The Saskatchewan government paid down more than $1 billion in debt making Saskatchewan’s debt-to-GDP ratio the best among all the provinces. And even with that, it still has nearly half a billion to give everyone over 18 a dividend of $500.