The 2009-2010 budget

I just had a quick look at the 2010-2011 provincial budget and the speech.  I’ll discuss it more in my TJ column tomorrow.  It is interesting that a $750M deficit last year was shocking and this year it seems to be about normal.  12 months can change a lot.

I see that Equalization dropped slightly in the 2010-2011 budget for the first time in a very long time.  I think it was back in the Martin slash and burn days since that has happened but I could be wrong.  Don’t fret, however.  Overall federal contributions to the 2010-2011 budget are up by $12 million.

There is not a lot of belt tightening here.

Why did the General Government spending line drop by almost $190 million?   There was a $200 million drop in something called “Legislated Pension Plans, Benefit Accruals, Subsidies, and Supplementary Allowances”.  That’s worthy of explanation.

The Social Development budget is up by $100 million in three years.  There has been a big spike in long term care funding.  I did some consulting work not that long ago in this area and I think this is a cost that will continue to rise significantly going forward.

More tomorrow morning on this.

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2 Responses to The 2009-2010 budget

  1. Anonymous says:

    You do make a good point with your reference to the 1990’s recession provoking an economic initiative (contact centers). In times of crisis, times of extreme desperation, times when miracles are needed (or at least a significant intervention), some positive changes can happen. Trouble is, most of us on this blog can see that we are in such a time; we need an economic developmemnt intervention. However, as evidenced by the budget which is more of the same (highways, hockey rinks and handouts) it seems we are alone.

    We may have to sink a little lower before there is a sense of urgency. We’ve discussed this acceptance of mediocracy before. The “Wow, look at Alberta hurting now, sure glad never had an economic boom in New Brunswick” attititude. We are right on the edge; interest rates go up another 2% esculating our debt servicing costs and recovery in the west resulting in more population declines would really hurt. Couple that with the mega project at Lepreau finishing, LNG construction long done, no refinery project and the end of stimulus spending and we have some trouble ahead.

    We need to get an effective economic strategy in place soon.

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