P.E.I.'s deficit climbs to $79.6 million

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The P.E.I. government released its fiscal update on Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012. The province's deficit is up $4.7 million.

The P.E.I. government’s budget has come in $4.7 million higher than projected, Finance Minister Wes Sheridan says.

During his update on the province’s finances released at historic Province House today, Sheridan said the 2013 deficit is now expected to come in at $79.6 million.

The province has projected a deficit of $74.9 million

Sheridan said the province is moving steadily toward this year’s budget targets.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE FISCAL UPDATE

“Any budgetary plan has to have some flexibility to deal with unforeseen events,” said Sheridan.

“While we faced some additional challenges, we were able to realize some savings in other areas. The result is that we are not far from our target for this year, and are on the path to balance by 2015.”

The primary reason for the increase is expected crop insurance losses following last summer’s dry spell. In addition, tobacco tax revenues are coming in $2.5 million lower than expected.

Health care and social services expenditures continue to be a pressure, the minister said, specifically the added costs for in-province physicians, out-of-province hospitals and the disability support program.

On the positive side, Sheridan said departments are closely monitoring all expenditures and reducing costs where possible, so total expenditures are tracking below budget.

The fiscal update, usually contained in a glossy document, was released as a simple one-page document showing total revenues, expenditures and the consolidated deficit.

 

… More on this story later, full coverage, including reaction, in the print-edition of The Guardian tomorrow.

Organizations: Province House

Geographic location: P.E.I.

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  • Wade Bingley
    November 30, 2012 - 21:39

    Attention !!!!! All true aslanders please let us wake up and realize that this is just not working we all know it and the majority of us just keep voting them in , let me tell you i have only had 2 personal calls to Olive Crane and she has made things happen she is and will always be a true Islander that makes things happens for aqll of us Islanders it was small things that we asked for but my point iwas is that she took her time and listened to me and made it happen and we really think it's time to give her a chance to prove hersefl what a great leader she would really make , what moest of us don.t know is that she is just like mnost of us not raised in a well off family and had to work for where she is today , all i am saying is that is is time to give her a chance and i am positive the results will prove that she is a true Islander who cares where this province is heading in the future for all of us.

  • Wise sayings?
    November 30, 2012 - 14:43

    In some third world countries there's an expression, "A veces, el cerdo sangra antes de que llegue a la cubeta." Roughly translated, and given all the red on our budget, the saying makes some sense, "Sometimes the pig bleeds before it gets to the trough." Seems to me though, the pigs are just getting fatter and fatter. Hey, nice car Doug - shinny rig Wes!

  • We already know the answer to that question
    November 30, 2012 - 11:18

    You could argue that the Health and Finance Ministers buying themselves new cars on Islander's dime is a small thing. Sort of like a person on welfare buying a six pack and a carton of cigarettes. However, it's the point of the thing that stings. The Health and Finance Ministers didn't need a new car, even an idiot would know that Islanders wouldn't have wanted them to use our money to buy new cars. So, what does this purchase represent? A keen sense of responsible governance or blind and wilful arrogance? I think Islanders, Liberals or not, already know the answer to that question. Don't we?

    • Wes Waste Matters.
      November 30, 2012 - 15:21

      Yes, these MLA's need a NEW car like Bonshaw needed a new road. Just like the road, money could have been more properly spent to secure the desired results. Does Mr. Sheridan and Curry deserve a safe car to drive on our business? Absolutely. But are they entitled to the type of car they bought for themselves from our borrowed money? Is this just symbolic? You can bet your boots it's symbolic, and that symbol matters to Islanders . . . a whole lot! Planb'd again? Sure looks like it . . .

  • Janet Gaudet
    November 30, 2012 - 08:27

    I am extremely worried over the future of P.E.I. Our situation has deteriorated severely since this government got elected in 2007. It's very sad to realize how much damage they have done and continue to do. I don't believe one word they say because they don't know how to tell the truth. I've never been so disgusted with a P.E.I. government, either P.C. or Liberal. We're governed by a captain & crew that doesn't know what it's doing, very comparable to what happened to the Titanic. There are no lifeboats on our ship, no life preservers, rudder is broken, anchor is gone, and we're heading to the rocks.

  • Wayne MacKinnon
    November 30, 2012 - 08:26

    PEI is a great province, in a great a great country. We are a democratic province,meaning Islanders voted for this government and the many governments before this one. Islanders have no one to blame for the financial mess we find ourselves in now.I do not believe Mr. Sheridan's numbers on the deficit are correct,they do not show an accurate picture of our actual debt. The level of corruption that occurs here on public projects is out of control. Our road construction industry,construction companies and the companies supplying the goods and services are raping the taxpayers of PEI; only seen in Banana Republics. Yet Islanders have been to dumbed down to speak up and protect the Future Generations coming behind.(their children & grandchildren) When world interest rates begin to rise due to the scarcity of currency caused by the debt the countries and the citizens of the world are carrying. This is when we will really experience the hardships caused by people not coming together to speak up and support each other. The next five years will be very interesting here on PEI and globally as well. Before anything will change for the better,the people of PEI must take responsibility for their part in this financial mess they are going to experience.They are the ones who allowed it to happen.

  • Ron
    November 30, 2012 - 07:20

    Sorry Folks, but the majority of Islanders voted these fools in and have no one to blame but them selfs.

  • Here's the rub . . . let's be civil, but very clear.
    November 30, 2012 - 07:12

    Here's the rub . . . if a parent had an out of control aging adolescent living with them that displayed, among other things, gross fiscal irresponsibility, what would they do? Well, one option would be to kick them out of the house. This government is living in our House, and it's time for a serious sit down chat . . . When we go the Premier's Levy this January 1st, let's bring empty luggage. Maybe they'll get the message!

  • Joe Blow
    November 29, 2012 - 22:35

    WOW.....how is this crooked government still allowed to have power of our beautiful province??? If ANY businessmen ran their business the way these morons run PEI...they would be bankrupt and thrown in jail ages ago for all the crooked dealings that have gone on. How is Wes Sheridan still allowed to have a job as the minister of finance?? He has talked about how he plans to decrease the deficit every time the budget comes out...and every year the debt grows and this rotten government are after throwing away tax dollars on stupid, needless projects and patronage deals. I really cannot fathom how they are still allowed to have jobs when they continue to do those jobs as poorly as they have been doing them!! The morons are bringing HST as a way to decrease the debt, but like the morons they are, they have most of the $25 million from the feds already spent....so it isn't even going to decrease the deficit at all!! There must be some way to end this foolishness before the next election....Islanders cannot continue to go on the same path these foolish Liberals are taking us down! You just cannot get blood from a stone...no matter how much you tax them and take money out of their pockets.

  • Gerard
    November 29, 2012 - 22:16

    Now Mr. Sheridan, can we please have the truith of the defesit....My guess is that it is probably in the area of $125,000,000,00.....what a sham.

  • SG
    November 29, 2012 - 21:27

    I sure find it difficult to have a Positive Attitude on Life as an Islander. The only thing that seems to be improving is our Weather. Thanks Boomer !

  • Plan B
    November 29, 2012 - 20:38

    PLAN B Mr minister.A plan to waste more money then collect from the ordinary tax payers HST to save your words.

  • don
    November 29, 2012 - 20:05

    expected crop insurance losses, tobacco tax revenues. more excuses why not just tell the truth you screwed up. you want people to stop smoking now you cry that the money from tax's are not in your bank. what a poor government whine whine. but not able to stand up like a man and admit the TRUTH.

  • Independant
    November 29, 2012 - 19:50

    Can we please have another election!!!!!

  • Leaving
    November 29, 2012 - 19:45

    Fools gold.... What a collection of fools spending our gold!!! Sorry to say but I'm leaving my home. I can't afford to pay the tax burden coming on. My assets will soon be damn near worthless. Thank you Mr. Ghiz. Rumor is that you also are leaving this province too Mr , for Ottawa, so I guess you too don't plan to pay for your idiotic spending either

  • merge the maritimes
    November 29, 2012 - 19:44

    PEI needs to give up the ghost. We need to stop playing ''province'' and just accept that we should be a region within a larger province. PEI makes more sense as a single regional municipality such as HRM or CBRM. And municipalities, school boards and health authorities in Nova Scotia are not permitted to run a deficit - they have to be in the black each and every year. That means that a PEI Regional Municipality would be required by law in a larger province to balance the books each and every year. No more financial shenanigans by people like Wes Sheridan or Pat Mella. They would be forced to run things properly. Of course if health care costs weren't included (provincial level service) and it was just municipal services, then PEI suddenly becomes a lot easier to govern. Bring on union with NB and NS. I vote for a name of either The Maritimes or Nova Scotia (the name that this enitre region was under0 or Acadia (the historic name before it was all called Nova Scotia and then was split apart). Have the capital rotate every 4 years on a fixed election cycle between Halifax, Charlottetown and Fredericton. Have 60 MLAs with 30 from NS, 24 from NB and 6 from PEI (all based on population). And have the PEI Regional Municipality have 15 councillors and 1 mayor and have a 2 term limit and no gold-plated pension scheme.

    • Stephen HArper
      November 30, 2012 - 07:13

      See Defeatists. Go ahead, reduce your overall representation, and reduce your voice in politics. I have less people to listen whine like little babies rather than actually get out and stimulate the economy like non-lazy people.

  • Hmmm
    November 29, 2012 - 19:36

    79,600,000 divided by 140,000 = HST ?

  • Pius from BC
    November 29, 2012 - 19:29

    Yes, huge deficit budget of $75 million. When you add that to the $ 2 billion debt, one wonders when PEI will start to pay its loans?

    • Yerah
      November 30, 2012 - 07:14

      Unlike BC, it is to bad we don't have old growth forests to rape.

  • Surprise
    November 29, 2012 - 19:13

    Surprise..Surprise.You cannot spend yourself rich.HST tax grab will help.

  • nick
    November 29, 2012 - 19:07

    tell me why the GHIZ SAW FIT TO USE OUR MONEY TO BUY STUDENT VOTES JUST LAST WEEK, --- GIVING STUDENTS $200.- ADDED TO THE ALREADY $ 5000,- schollarhips--- totally uncalled for, - $ 200 to each student is a drop in the bucket, - collectively for the taxpayers, it i an other added burden, -- no wonder we get deeper in the hole with this kind of stupidity, ---Ghiz acts like he is unaware of the trouble we are in, - could he be that dense, if so why don't somebody tell him--- or is it that he just don't give a shit,- he needs a check up---

  • Not a Problem
    November 29, 2012 - 18:29

    Why is this a problem? Just build another road, you know like Plan B. (Sorry I have to put this in parenthesis folks, but in case Mr. Vessey is reading, I'm being facetious.)

  • country boy
    November 29, 2012 - 18:21

    Islanders keep voting for people that make promises instead of holding their politicians to account for what they have done. Vote for us and we will be balancing the books. You want our politicians to take notice then vote for those who have done what they said they will do. If they failed then its out at the next election. Take their opportunity for a pension away and maybe we will see some accountability. I have no problem with politicians getting a pension but they must earn it. Let's demand honesty up front. If someone makes promises hold them to it.

  • just another screwed islander
    November 29, 2012 - 17:16

    Another 80 million dollars and they seem proud its only this high. Everything the government looks after, the fees go up, taxes up and yet they can't balance a budget. In the 6 plus years this government has been in power they have tripled our debt, that it has taken 140 years to accumulate. Almost 3 BILLION dollars we owe....WOW......But they are filling their pockets, and the liberals seem top have DEEP pockets. Keep up the good work you bunch of useless clowns

  • John W.A.Curtis
    November 29, 2012 - 16:02

    Another deficit closer to political union, go debt go bring on the bond raters there is still the 450 milion dollar pension shortfall

  • WishinI Hadanewcar
    November 29, 2012 - 15:47

    They knew full well this was going on, and still spent 12 million on a new unwanted highway, and bought themselves some new cars to spread the bad news in! Ridiculous!!!!

  • don
    November 29, 2012 - 15:46

    Dizzy you made this statement and was in the globe and mail Tuesday, Sep. 06 2011,Mr. Ghiz, who has promised to deliver a balanced budget by 2013-14. what happened? giving away OUR MONEY, TAX PAYERS MONEY. shame on you and your gang for putting PEI on the verge of bankruptcy.

  • Smoke and mirrors
    November 29, 2012 - 15:42

    Smoke and mirrors as usual ..sugar coated for public consumption....we are severely in dept folks...............

  • tim tonkin
    November 29, 2012 - 15:18

    No worries ,the boys have her under control. Another P.N.P should get them through the next couple of years and after that smoooth sailing.