April 17th, 2024

Health-care spending, income tax indexing highlight Nova Scotia budget

By The Canadian Press on February 29, 2024.

Finance Minister Allan MacMaster during a press conference before tabling the provincial budget at the Nova Scotia legislature in Halifax on Thursday, March 23, 2023. Nova Scotia’s Progressive Conservative government is to table its third budget today since being elected in August 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

HALIFAX – Nova Scotia has tabled a $16.5-billion budget that spends heavily on health care and contains a tax break touted as one of the largest in the province’s history.

With projected revenues of $15.8-billion, Finance Minister Allan MacMaster is forecasting a deficit of $467.4-million after an accounting adjustment.

The government’s big-ticket cost-of-living measure will see it index personal income tax brackets, the basic personal amount and non-refundable tax credits to inflation beginning Jan. 1, at a projected cost of $160-million a year by 2028.

When tax brackets are raised to reflect inflation, that can result in a taxpayer remaining in a lower bracket and paying less than they otherwise would have.

The province is spending $7.3 billion across its health system and notes that health spending has increased by 36 per cent in the past three years.

Other support measures include $84.6 million to address homelessness, $7.8 million for child poverty and $2.4 million to create 500 new rent supplements.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 29, 2024.

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