Finance Minister Donna Harpauer has tabled the 2018 Saskatchewan budget. The Saskatchewan Party has forecasted a deficit of $365 million and has a plan to return to a balanced budget in 2019.

Here is a look at the how the budget breaks down this year:

Key figures:

  • Forecasted revenue: $14.24 billion
  • Forecasted spending: $14.61 billion
  • Forecasted deficit: $365 million

Taxation:

  • Personal income tax remains the same
  • PST exemption for used vehicles removed effective April 11
  • PST exemption for Energy Star appliances discontinued
  • Sask. will follow marijuana taxation outlined by federal government – excise tax of $1-per-gram with 75 per cent of revenue for provinces

Education:

  • Education investments at $3.26 billion – down 7.6 per cent
  • K – 12 education receives $1.87 billion in school operating funding
  • Funding to hire up to 400 new positions – adding teachers or educational support
  • $2.5 billion investment in Pre-K – 12 classrooms, child care, libraries, literacy
  • Infrastructure investments of $76.8 million – school projects, maintenance and renewal, portable classrooms and facility assessments
  • Post-secondary education funding at $729 million – up 1.5 per cent
  • Maintaining operating grants from 2017 levels
  • Restoring $5 million to University of Saskatchewan
  • Funding $87.8 million to College of Medicine at U of S
  • Operating and capital grants of $470 million to U of S, U of R, and federated and affiliated colleges
  • Operating and capital grants of $151 million to Saskatchewan Polytechnic, Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies and Gabriel Dumont Institute

Health:

  • Total health spending projected at $5.77 billion, increase of 2.5 per cent
  • Saskatchewan Health Authority base operating funding at $3.5 billion
  • Amalgamation of health regions saving $9 million in administrative staff salaries
  • Increase of $16.8 million for physician and operating capacity for Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital
  • Funding for operating and accommodations costs at Saskatchewan Hospital North Battleford
  • Additional funding of $600,000 to increase HIV medication coverage to 100 per cent
  • Investing in Autism Spectrum Disorder – giving funding of up to $4,000 to children under six years old
  • Mental health funding will account for five per cent of the health budget

Social Services:

  • Community-based organizations increase funding by $10.4 million – $8.2 million for providing daily care to adults with intellectual disabilities or mental health challenges and $2.2 million for foster families and people providing daily care to families
  • Saskatchewan Assistance Program budget increasing by $14.2 million
  • Saskatchewan Rental Housing Supplement will suspend new applications as of July 1, 2018 – eligible clients on program as of June 30, 2018, will still receive benefits

Economy:

  • Non-renewable resource revenue accounts for 10 per cent of province’s revenue – down from 32 per cent in 2008
  • Sask. highest goods exporter per capita in Canada
  • Business incentives including Saskatchewan Value-Added Agriculture Incentive and Saskatchewan Tech Start-Up Incentive
  • Municipalities
  • Province provides $412.9 million in support through municipal revenue sharing – based on one point of Provincial Sales Tax collected in 2016
  • Government planning review of revenue sharing in light of PST increases in 2017
  • SaskPower and SaskEnergy will pay grants-in-lieu of property taxes on owned real estate assets – generation, transmission, distribution, pipelines and land exempted
  • SaskEnergy will collect municipal surcharge on behalf of urban municipalities at five per cent rate on customer bills

Corrections and Policing:

  • Full funding of $5.9 million for Protection and Response Team for rural crime initiative launched in 2017 - $4.9 million from SGI and $1 million from Ministry of Corrections and Policing
  • Additional $2.375 million to expand early case resolution – focused on resolving cases that would otherwise require accused people to remain in remand

Other:

  • Agriculture budget of $378.6 million
  • Strong support for business risk management programs like crop insurance
  • Increased funding for Animal Protection Services
  • Government providing $200 million for targeted First Nations and Métis funding
  • Highways and Infrastructure budget of $924 million
  • Safety project investment of $51 million
  • Continued investment of $330 million for Phase II of Regina Bypass