For years, Greg Selinger's NDP government spent far more money than it had, which piled debt onto the shoulders of Manitobans.
This left Manitoba's finances in a dismal state of affairs. When our new PC government took office, Budget 2016-17's proposed expenditures were $13.665 billion, reflecting a 3.7 per cent increase in spending over the forecast for 2015-16!
Our new government is committed to eliminating wasteful government spending and putting Manitoba back on a responsible fiscal track, while protecting front-line services and the people who provide them.
All departments were reviewed to identify their ability to reduce their costs while protecting front-line services. These include the following measures:
- reducing the size of cabinet including associated political or technical staff – $4 million;
- Seniors School Tax Rebate – $44 million;
- reducing discretionary prevention funds (departmental application-based funding created in the March 8 Outlook) – $35 million;
- reducing requested increases to schools and universities (reduced increases to various grant lines and changes in the implementation timing of various programs) – $9 million;
- amortization reductions related to revised forecasts and capital (the result of projects not proceeding as quickly as estimated in 2015-16 and a reduced level of capital spending approved for 2016-17 to allow for return on investment implementation within strategic infrastructure investment) – $11 million; and
- Building Manitoba Fund reductions due to PST decreases (result of legislated requirement to appropriate one-seventh of forecast PST revenues in a fiscal year, a decreased projection of PST revenue from March 8 Outlook) – $5 million.
Departments will be coming forward through the normal Treasury Board process to identify other specific proposals for expenditure growth reduction.
“Our government will ensure that targets identified through this process are met, using a careful approach based on the principals of trust, compassion and common sense,” said Brian. “We are consulting Manitobans in this important work through a sustainable health-care review, a red-tape reduction task force and a value-for-money review.”