Released on June 26, 2012
The Public Accounts (Volume 1) released today show the province overcame the financial challenges posed by flooding in 2011-12 to record a pre-transfer surplus of $55 million in the General Revenue Fund (GRF). After a net transfer from the Growth and Financial Security Fund (GFSF) for government debt reduction, the GRF posted a $352 million surplus in 2011-12.
"The fact we could experience such a dramatic and unexpected increase in expense in 2011-12 due to flooding and still post a surplus demonstrates the resilience of Saskatchewan's economy," Finance Minister Ken Krawetz said. "Our economy remains the envy of most other jurisdictions, and we're continuing to build on the Saskatchewan Advantage in 2012-13."
Total expense was $11.07 billion in 2011-12, a $386 million increase from budget, primarily due to flood costs. This pressure was largely offset by a $326 million increase in revenue, mainly from increases in other own-source revenue, transfers from Crown entities, and increases in federal transfers related to disaster assistance. Total revenue was $11.12 billion in 2011-12, an increase of 3.0 per cent from budget.
Meanwhile, the Growth and Financial Security Fund, established to safeguard Saskatchewan's financial future, recorded a balance of $708 million at March 31, 2012. Government general debt at March 31, 2012 is $3.81 billion, the lowest level of debt since 1988.
Another highlight in 2011-12 was the credit rating upgrade received in May 2011 from Standard & Poor's, raising Saskatchewan to the highest level possible (AAA) for the first time in the province's history. Standard & Poor's attributed the upgrade to Saskatchewan's low and declining debt burden, a rebounding economy, strong liquidity and only moderate reliance on support from the federal government.
"In terms of the economy, we have a number of positives happening in the province of Saskatchewan - from the rise in the number of building permits to continued population and employment growth to improvements in wage earnings to the ongoing diversification beyond non-renewable resources which is creating a much broader tax base," Krawetz said. "All of that, combined with our reduced debt, reflects an economy that continues to move in the right direction."
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