Saskatchewan's finances strengthened in 2021-22, with higher than forecast revenue. A deficit of $1.47 billion at year-end is a $1.14 billion improvement over the projected deficit in the 2021-22 Budget.
Public Accounts 2021-22 Volume 1 released today, shows higher potash and oil prices resulted in increased non-renewable resource revenue, and higher personal income, corporate income and sales tax revenue than budgeted. Revenue increases in 2021-22 underscored the province's resilience as Saskatchewan's economy began to recover from the pandemic.
However, widespread drought significantly impacted agriculture expense and health spending was also up in 2021-22 due to continued COVID-19 costs as the pandemic persisted.
"Saskatchewan's improvement through the fiscal year, and our government's strong financial plan has the province back on track," Deputy Premier and Finance Minister Donna Harpauer said. "Our public debt at year-end was $529 million lower than budgeted, as government needed to borrow less, largely due to a lower deficit."
Total revenue of $18.14 billion was up $3.66 billion, from the projection in the 2021-22 Budget. While most revenue categories experienced increases, higher taxation revenue and non-renewable resource revenue were significant contributors to the increase in total revenue.
Non-renewable resource revenue was $2.92 billion in 2021-22, an increase of $1.59 billion, compared to the forecast at budget. Higher potash, oil, and natural gas prices, and resulting increases to the resource surcharge, drove the increase.
Taxation revenue of $8.20 billion in 2021-22 was up $964.26 million. The increase was largely due to higher revenue from corporation and individual income taxes and from provincial sales and fuel taxes, underscoring the province's resilience as it began to recover from the pandemic.
Total expense of $19.60 billion in 2021-22 was $2.52 billion, higher than projected at budget. The increase was primarily due to higher than forecast agriculture expense of $3.19 billion in 2021-22, up $2.32 billion, or 263.3 per cent, from budget. Drought conditions across the province in the spring and summer of 2021 resulted in record crop insurance indemnities of $2.55 billion, and relief payments for livestock producers.
Health expense was $6.88 billion in 2021-22, up $348 million from the projection at budget. Increases were largely due to pandemic-related costs.
Saskatchewan's $27.24 billion in public debt at March 31, 2022, is down $529 million from budget, in part due to a lower deficit.
"Saskatchewan is poised to be a leader in economic growth among the provinces in 2022 according to private sector forecasts," Harpauer said. "As our finances are strengthening, we continue to invest in the programs, services and capital projects that our province's people value."Source : Govt of Saskatchewan