Monday, September 1st21.6°C
22817
22805

Watch it grow: Bumper crop boosts Saskatchewan's bottom line with higher surplus

REGINA - A bumper crop and higher returns on investments boosted the Saskatchewan government's bottom line in the last fiscal year.

Public accounts released Thursday show the province finished the year in March with a surplus of $589 million — $439 million higher than forecast in the 2013-2014 budget.

"We know that revenue is up slightly and expenses were down, and if you have both of those things occurring, the result is that the province is doing well," said Finance Minister Ken Krawetz.

Revenue was $14.4 billion — up $239 million per cent from the budget — while expenses totalled $13.8 billion, which was $200 million lower than anticipated.

The bottom line initially took a hit because of lower than expected revenue from potash.

The mineral is used primarily as fertilizer and Saskatchewan collects billions in tax and royalty revenue from companies that mine the resource. But demand for potash softened and prices fell last year after Russian-based Uralkali, one of the world's largest potash producers, quit an export partnership.

Overall, however, the province took in more money from insurance sector investment income, including from the Saskatchewan Auto Fund, and from taxes, such as a four-cent increase on tobacco that brought in an additional $23 million.

The government's sale of a 69 per cent ownership in Information Services Corporation last July also meant a gain of $141 million.

Spending was down because agricultural expenses were 37 per cent lower than budgeted due to a record crop.

"The statistics show that we're going to have a bad year somewhere. I hope it's (not) for a long time into the future, but there will be a year when the crop insurance is going to have a significant payout," said Krawetz.

"This was not one of those years."

Krawetz warned, however, that just because there was a bigger than expected surplus, that doesn't mean there's money available to hand out.

"Even though there is a $589-million surplus, it's not cash to spend on things like building more highways or improving conditions in the various ministries, because these are insurance organizations that have brought about that massive amount of surplus.

"That surplus needs to remain there for the year when we will have a massive hail storm and the auto fund will need the dollars."

The finance minister also noted that there has been some belt tightening this year.

The 2014-2015 budget tabled in March includes $14.07 billion in revenue and $14 billion in spending — leaving a thin surplus of $71 million.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

22253


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX15625.73+67.561
S&P CDNX1023.991.62
DJIA17098.4518.88
Nasdaq4580.271+22.577
S&P 5002003.37+6.63
CDN Dollar0.9198+0.0004
Gold1281.70-2.1001
Oil95.96+1.29
Lumber349.60+2.60
Natural Gas3.965+0.054

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.20+0.005
Knighthawk0.01-0.005
QHR Technologies Inc1.190.00
Cantex0.08+0.01
Anavex Life Sciences0.25+0.01
Metalex Ventures0.0750.00
Russel Metals36.48+0.09
Copper Mountain Mining2.93+0.02
Colorado Resources0.180.00
ReliaBrand Inc0.10+0.001
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.0250.00
Mission Ready Services0.245-0.005

 



22870

FEATURED Property
20495445375 Big White Rd
1 bedrooms 1 baths
$99,900
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


At the Core: Lessons in pricing from Apple

Apple has taught many entrepreneurs the importance of design, how to create buzz when introducing new products to the marketplace, how to pioneer new technology and the importance of superior quality....


New Real Estate Brokerage in town

Move over “big guys” there’s a new brokerage in town featuring local expertise, long standing experience and a fresh boutique approach. Kelowna, August 31 2014 – You may have...


How much mortgage should you carry?

There are several things to consider when deciding how much home to buy. 1. Draw up a budget including the new mortgage payments. While the rules used by most lenders require that the mortgage paym...

_








Member of BC Press Council


22810