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Province's year-end results show 'modest' improvement: Struthers

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Finance Minister Stan Struthers

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Finance Minister Stan Struthers

The province released its year-end financial results today and its first quarter report for the current fiscal year.

Finance Minister Stan Struthers said in a release the year-end results showed "modest" improvement over forecasts contained in the third quarter report.

The year-end report shows the government posted a small improvement of $3 million for a year-end deficit of $580 million.

The first quarter report shows the forecasted summary budget deficit ending March 31, 2014 is $518 million as first released in the April budget.

Premier Greg Selinger said a year ago the target for getting Manitoba out of the red is now the 2016-17 fiscal year, two years longer than the NDP promised to balance the province's books.

For the first three months of the year (April to June) the government saw a loss of $128 million.

At the same time the province saw a $51-million "positive revenue variance" mostly due to higher than estimated retail sales tax and government business enterprise net income.

The July 1 one-point increase to the provincial sales tax will be reflected in the next quarterly report likely to be released near the end of the calendar year.

Struthers also said the year-end numbers show:

  • net-debt to GDP ratio improved to 26.8 per cent, an improvement over the third quarter forecast of 27.1 per cent, and down significantly from the 32.9 per cent it was in 1999-2000; and
  • debt servicing costs declined to 6.1 cents on the dollar, an improvement over the Budget 2012 estimate of 6.2 cents on the dollar, and over 50 per cent lower than the 13.2 cents on the dollar it was in 1999-2000.

In addition, Struthers said the report shows the government continues to face spending pressures in public safety, disability programs, child protection and agriculture income supports.

History

Updated on Monday, September 30, 2013 at 1:30 PM CDT: Updates with info regarding promise to balance books

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