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Budget highlights

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A quick look at Tuesday's budget's impact on your pocketbook, spending, the province's finances and those who come out ahead -- or behind.

Your pocketbook

  • Retail sales tax increases to increase to 8 per cent on July 1 for a period of 10 years.
  • Basic personal tax exemption to rise by $250; spousal and dependent exemptions also go up by $250.
  • School property taxes to be eliminated for all seniors by 2015.
  • Provincial sales taxes will be removed from baby supplies, such as diapers, car seats and strollers.
  • Minimum wage to rise 20 cents to $10.45 an hour Oct. 1.
  • Effective at midnight tobacco taxes are going up. The increase is four cents per cigarette to 29 cents per smoke.
  • Fishing licences going up $5 due to a doubling of the fishing ‘enhancement ‘levy.

Spending

  • Government spending is expected to increase by 3.1 per cent as revenues rise 3 per cent.
  • Health spending will rise by 4.5 per cent and education related spending is also projected to go up 4.5 per cent.
  • The province has created a $30 million contingency fund to battle this year’s flood; it expects to spend another $105 million in ongoing flood mitigation.

The province’s finances

  • A deficit of $518 million is forecast for 2013-2014.
  • The deficit for the recently completed 2012-2013 fiscal year is now projected to hit $583 million, up $16 million from what was projected in December.
  • Debt servicing costs are expected to increase by $19 million.

Budget winners and losers

  • The Department of Immigration and Multiculturalism will see its spending plummet by 57 per cent due to federal cuts last year to settlement services.
  • Conservation and Water Stewardship spending will drop 6.2 per cent due to the elimination of positions and reductions in grants.
  • The Department of Justice will receive a budget hike of nearly 10 per cent due to an increased inmate population.
  • The Health Department will see 2.7 per cent more funding (4.5 per cent more on a summary budgeting basis).

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