Manitobans deserve a break
The previous government raised the PST to 8 per cent after promising to not do so. In 2016, we promised to cut the PST back to 7 per cent. Budget 2019 delivers on that promise.
The PST cut will leave more money on kitchen tables all over our province, where it belongs. By the end of our second term, it will save an average family of four more than $3,000.
It will increase economic output and generate approximately 900 person-years of employment. Labour income, including wages and salaries, will grow by nearly $50 million per year. Manitoba’s nominal GDP will increase by $90 million annually.
Fixing our Finances
The previous government left our province with record debt and a summary deficit approaching $1 billion annually.
Our government has made tremendous progress in reducing the deficit over the past three years because we are shopping smarter and getting better results. We are getting value for taxpayers.
Budget 2019 reduces the summary deficit to $360 million, and we are on track to deliver a balanced budget during our second term. It also ends the years of growth in our debt-to-GDP ratio that occurred under the previous government.
Repairing our Services
In each of our budgets, our government has increased our investments in health care, in education, and for families to the highest levels in Manitoba history. Budget 2019 continues that trend.
Funding for health care is increased by $47.8 million, including increases for additional paramedics, Pharmacare, and addictions treatment.
Funding for K to 12 education is increased by $6.6 million, while the K to 12 capital budget increases by $56.1 million to $202.2 million. That money will pay for structural repairs, roof replacements, new mechanical systems and accessibility projects for schools all over the province.
Budget 2019 also increases support for Community Living and disABILITY Services to $439.5 million, while funding for existing and new community-based day care projects will grow by $759,000.
Rebuilding our Economy
A strong infrastructure network is critical to our safety and a strong Manitoba economy.
Budget 2019 keeps our commitment to spend at least $1 billion annually on strategic infrastructure such as roads and bridges, flood protection, hospitals, schools, universities and colleges. It allocates $350 million in funding for highways and $45 million for special Manitoba 150 infrastructure projects.
Budget 2019 also invests more than $12 million in Travel Manitoba, and increases funding for the Manitoba Film and Video Production Tax Credit, and the Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit.
Supporting our Communities
Strong, sustainable municipalities are the backbone of our province. That’s why Manitoba’s support for municipalities is the most generous in Canada.
Budget 2019 continues that commitment, with a total of $313.5 million in basket funding for our local governments. That includes $121 million in operating funding, $5.9 million to support public safety initiatives and over $170 million in infrastructure support.
Local governments will benefit from the PST reduction. The City of Winnipeg alone will save approximately $1.7 million annually.
Keeping Manitobans Safe
Budget 2019 adds 29 positions to Manitoba’s RCMP staffing complement, including 27 additional officers.
An additional $2.3 million in funding targets drug-related criminal activity, including methamphetamine and gang-related crime prevention initiatives.
Budget 2019 also allocates an additional $325,000 for Victims Services and continues to support organizations like The Canadian Centre for Child Protection, Brandon Victim Services, and Candace House.
Keeping our promises
In 2016, we promised to reduce the PST back to 7 per cent. We’re keeping our promise.
We promised to cut ambulance fees to $250 by the end of our first term. Budget 2019 honours that promise as well.
We committed to spend at least $1 billion annually on strategic infrastructure and, for our fourth budget in row, we are keeping that promise.
We promised to balance the budget in our second term, and we are on track to honour that commitment.