WINNIPEG, MB. - The 2018 budget for the Manitoba Government introduces tax cuts for individuals and business, record spending in health, education and families, and a dramatically reduced deficit, Finance Minister Cameron Friesen said today. It will also include reduced ambulance fees, investment in climate and green plan and funding for over 700 new child-care spaces.
This year's budget will also reduce the deficit by $319 million which makes it the biggest reduction in the deficit since summary budgeting was introduced in 2007.
“We promised to fix the finances, repair the services and rebuild the economy,” said Friesen. “We are keeping our promises.”
By increasing the threshold under which individuals pay no income tax by 2020 over the next two years, the Government of Manitoba is taking more than 30,000 Manitobans off the tax rolls – that is more than 30,000 more Manitobans who will pay no income tax – and adding more than $230 million to the economy by putting it back in the pockets of Manitobans.
Budget 2018 also gives small and medium-sized businesses a break by raising the small business income tax threshold to $500,000 from $450,000. This will save individual businesses up to $6,000 a year – money they can reinvest in new jobs or technology – and pump $7 million back into the economy each year starting in 2019.
“Manitobans face challenges of rising hydro rates, increased federal and municipal taxes, and interest rates rising. They deserve a break,” the minister said. “With this budget, and the biggest tax cut in Manitoba’s history, we are giving them a break by taking money from the cabinet table and putting it back on the kitchen table.”
Other highlights include:
“Even as we take a moderate and balanced approach to fiscal management and fixing our finances, we are investing in the priorities of Manitobans,” said Friesen. “Whether you are a small business owner, a student, a senior or a working Manitoban, Budget 2018 is designed with you in mind.”
The importance of fiscal discipline and fixing the province’s finances is demonstrated by the fact that for the first time in Manitoba history, debt servicing costs will exceed $1 billion.
“Years of mismanagement and reckless spending by the previous government have created a situation where we take $1 billion out of our economy and ship it to out-of-province bankers – money that cannot be invested on health, education, families or any priorities of Manitobans,” the minister said.
If debt servicing was a government department, noted Friesen, it would be the fourth-largest spending department by budget.
“We cannot lose sight of the importance of fixing our finances,” said Friesen. “Debt and deficits are not abstract concepts. It is about people, Manitobans and ensuring government can continue to provide the services that citizens need and deserve. Not just now, but into the future.”
Budget 2018 reaffirms the government’s commitments to reduce the PST to seven per cent by 2020 and balance the budget during its second term.
“Our plan is working, and when you have a plan that is succeeding – that’s getting the results you promised – you stick with it,” said Friesen. “That’s what Budget 2018 does.”
A list of Budget 2018 fact sheets for government departments can be found at:
With Files from the Manitoba Government