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Saskatchewan Budget

Meeting the Challenge - Provincial Budget 2017-18

The 2017-18 Budget is a responsible plan to focus on core services -- those that are a priority to Saskatchewan people -- to ensure these vital services are sustainable and affordable in the long run, to rebalance revenue, to continue supporting growth and return to balance.

The Challenge Saskatchewan is Facing

  • Since 2014-15, resource revenue has declined over $1.3 billion.
  • Tax revenue is down by hundreds of millions of dollars due to the resource revenue slowdown.
  • The population has grown by 162,000 in 10 years, which puts pressure on vital public services.

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1. Controlling and Reducing Government Spending

Given the fiscal challenge, it was essential to look for savings across government.  That includes a $250 million total public sector compensation savings, a 3.5% wage rollback for MLAs and Ministers and nine unpaid days of leave for staff in the Premier’s office, caucus and Ministers’ offices. Other changes were made with a focus on ensuring vital public services remain affordable and sustainable.

Examples of controlled spending

  • Consolidating 12 regional health authorities into one
  • Total spending on health held to 0.7% increase
  • Winding down STC and Executive Air
  • Undertaking an Income Assistance redesign
  • Looking for efficiencies in the education sector

Affordable and sustainable public services. Ensuring a strong economy.

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2. Modernizing and Expanding the Tax System

This budget modernizes and expands the tax system while ensuring Saskatchewan’s taxes remain fair and competitive. There is a shift toward consumption tax and away from income, growth and productivity.

Rebalance revenue with a shift towards consumption taxes.

  • Increasing the PST rate to 6%, expanding PST base and eliminating some exemptions
  • Education Property Tax rebalanced to fund 40% of K-12 education costs
  • The Saskatchewan Low-income Tax Credit will be enhanced to mitigate the effect of PST changes.
  • A more stable revenue base will help sustain valued services like health care, education, social assistance and capital investment

PST rate increase 5% ’ 6%
Effective March 23, 2017 
Tobacco Tax increase +2¢
Effective March 23, 2017
Fuel Tax exemptions
Effective April 1, 2017
Fuel Tax expansions:
  • Farmers and primary producers begin to pay the full 15₵ per liter fuel tax on gasoline.
  • The fuel exemption on marked diesel fuel for farmers and primary producers is reduced to 12₵ per litre
Effective April 1, 2017
PST base expansions:
  • Children’s clothing
  • Restaurant Meals and snack foods 
  • Construction and renovation contracts
  • Vehicle trade-ins no longer deductible
  • Insurance premiums (effective July 1, 2017)
Effective April 1, 2017
except for insurance premiums are July 1, 2017
Liquor wholesale markups - 4% to 6.8% Effective April 1, 2017
$34 million in new funding to the Saskatchewan Low-Income Tax Credit to help mitigate the impact on lower income residents Effective July 1, 2017
(administrated federally)
Personal/Corporate Income Tax
  • Personal Income Tax rate reduced by half a percentage point on each bracket
  • Corporate Income Tax rate reduced by half a percentage point
Effective July 1, 2017
and by another half
a percentage point
effective July 1, 2019

For more information, please visit the Ministry of Finance or call 1-800-667-6102.

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3. Keeping the Economy Strong

Low taxes and tax incentives create a tremendous advantage for Saskatchewan in attracting new investment and jobs.

  • Beginning in 2017, lower personal and corporate income tax rates
  • Everyone at every income level will pay less income tax
  • New tax incentives, including the first-of-its-kind ‘patent box’ to support productivity and growth
  • When the tax reductions are fully implemented, Saskatchewan will have the lowest corporate tax rate and manufacturing and processing tax rate in Canada

Provincial Taxes - Family of four at $75,000 total household income - chart

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4. Investing in Priority Areas

While Budget 2017-18 contains considerable cost reduction measures, there is significant funding for the programs and services valued by the people of Saskatchewan.

  • Since 2007-08, total investment in health, education and social services and assistance is up nearly 72% or $4.4 billion. This year funding to those three areas is $10.6 billion.
  • Budget 2017-18 includes nearly $1.4 billion in the area of social services and assistance – a 51% increase since 2007-08
  • Since 2007-08 total funding for education, including Pre-K to Grade 12 and the post-secondary sector, has doubled from $1.8 billion to $3.6 billion in this budget
  • The budget also includes $3.7 billion for schools, highways, bridges, hospitals and Crown infrastructure

Spending by theme graph

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5. Returning to Balance over Three years

"This year’s budget sets a course to respond to the current challenge and return to a balanced budget by 2019, ensuring government services remain sustainable and affordable in the long run.”  -  Finance Minister Kevin Doherty

  • A $685 million deficit forecast for 2017-18. A smaller deficit of $304 million projected in 2018-19
  • Return to balance in 2019-20 with $15 million surplus
  • Careful debt management – second lowest debt-to-GDP ratio in Canada

Saskatchewan has the 2nd lowest dept-to-GDP ratio in Canada

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