November 29th, 2021

Quebec economic update includes direct payments to offset inflation as deficit drops

By The Canadian Press on November 25, 2021.

Quebec Finance Minister Eric Girard responds to reporters questions after he tabled a bill to modernize and extend the application of the Law on the Governance of Crown Corporations, Tuesday, October 26, 2021 at the legislature in Quebec City. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot

QUEBEC – A year after posting a record deficit, the Quebec government tabled an economic update today that contains a smaller-than-expected deficit thanks to a spike in economic growth.

Finance minister Eric Girard says the province’s deficit for the current fiscal year is now forecast at $6.8 billion, down from the $8.3 billion that had been projected – and less than half the $15-billion deficit reported last year.

He says Quebec will return to a balanced budget in 2027-28.

The province’s debt-to-GDP ratio is 44.3 per cent, down five percentage points from last year’s projections, amid economic growth of 6.5 per cent.

The economic update, which comes less than a year before the next provincial election, also includes one-time payments to help seniors and people with lower incomes deal with the rising cost of goods.

Quebec will also expand a refundable tax credit for people who send their children to non-subsidized daycares as part of an effort to deal with the long waiting lists for spaces in its public daycare system.

The province plans to spend $3 billion over five years to retrain 170,000 workers as it looks to deal with a shortage of labour.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2021.

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