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Finance Minister Allan MacMaster speaks on the 2023/24 budget (Province of Nova Scotia photo)

N.S. posts $115M surplus, takes in $2B more in revenues than forecast

By Steve MacArthur Sep 12, 2023 | 2:20 PM

The province has an influx of cash in its bank account, backed by population growth.

Nova Scotia is reporting a $115 million dollar surplus when it was expecting a deficit south of $500 million.

Finance Minister Allan MacMaster says we have seen more people move here and work for good wages and it’s helped boost the numbers in our favour.

“We’ve certainly seen it go the other way in previous years.” he offered while meeting with reporters.

Spending is up significantly as well, and MacMaster says they’ve used the windfall to spend on health care, housing and adds they were quick to help during Hurricane Fiona.

“Nova Scotia’s growing population and a rebounding economy in 2022 had a positive effect on finances,” said MacMaster. “Over the past year, our government focused on what matters most to Nova Scotians, including healthcare, housing and affordability.”

The books show our province took in just over $15-billion in revenue, $2-billion higher than the expected.

Total consolidated expenses were $15.5 billion, an increase of $1.3 billion from the budget estimate. This was due to more money spent in the following area.

— transformational changes to healthcare
— grants for new healthcare programs at three universities
— retention incentives for healthcare workers
— off-oil programming
— expansions of the Seniors Care Grant and home heating grant.

“I think people appreciate we are trying to fix the health care system.” said MacMaster.

The updated figures come as the government is set to recall the legislature for the fall sitting in October, with the cost of living, housing and health care set to take centre stage.