The annual provincial budget provides the deepest insight into not only how the Saskatchewan government’s finances are working but it is also a potent indicator of how the economy as a whole is performing.
A stronger economy usually means more revenue for government and vice versa.
So when the provincial finance minister tabled her new budget yesterday, a couple things stood out.
First, the surplus of the fiscal year that ends next week is $1.1 billion on the strength of revenues that exceeded her expectations of a year ago by $3 billion, pushing total government income past the $20 billion mark for the first time.
And then the coming fiscal year which starts April 1 will generate a further $1 billion surplus with revenues of just under $20 billion.
Taxation revenue – this includes income and sales tax receipts – sat just a little under $10 billion last year and will be virtually the same in the coming year – signs that not only are people making money and spending it, there is no appreciable decline expected in the near term as Saskatchewan’s economic growth leads the nation this year.