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April 8, 2014
For immediate release
Budget 2014-15 stays the course, continues to make targeted investments to benefit Islanders
Finance and Energy
Budget 2014-2015 continues on our path to balance while making targeted investments to benefit Islanders, says Finance, Energy and Municipal Affairs Minister Wes Sheridan.
“Our spending must be restrained in order to reach our fiscal goal for 2015-2016, but we have a responsibility to continue to make investments in programs and services that meet the evolving needs of Islanders,” said Minister Sheridan. “The investments announced in this Budget reflect what Islanders tell us is most important to them.”
New Budget initiatives include:
• approximately $400,000 for the purchase of insulin pumps and related supplies for children with Type 1 diabetes;
• the Triple P (Positive Parenting Program) will help provide proven parenting solutions;
• a new “Eye See, Eye Learn” program, launched with the PEI Association of Optometrists will provide free eye exams and glasses for eligible kindergarten children;
• a partnership with Maritime Bus will provide support for off-Island transportation costs for those needing to travel for medical care;
• Government will partner with the Red Cross to offer an expanded Health Equipment Loan program to allow Islanders to recover independently in their own homes;
• regulations will be changed to allow pharmacists to directly deliver the flu vaccine;
• an additional $775,000 in operational support will be provided for the QEH Day Surgery Department;
• a further two percent increase in room and board and clothing allowance for children-in-care;
• a new home care renovation program will be implemented and the grant amount for the Seniors Home Repair Program will be increased;
• a new Forest Investment program will encourage woodlot owners to get more involved in forest management;
• to address Red Tape, sector roundtables will be initiated to identify Government regulations and processes which are barriers to success; and
• The Island Community Fund has been extended to 2014-2015 with a budget of approximately $2.3 million.
Revenues will grow in 2014-2015 by 3.3 percent, while expenditures will be held to 2.0 percent. The following year, revenues are expected to grow by 3.5 percent while expenditures grow by 1.0 percent.
“Islanders have told us they want us to get back to balance, but not through drastic means,” said Minister Sheridan. “Though prudent fiscal management and a measured three-year plan we are reaching our fiscal targets.”
For the 2013/2014 fiscal year, Government improved on its Budget target of a $58.9 million deficit, with a forecast deficit of $51.9 million. In the upcoming fiscal year, there will be a further reduction in the deficit to $39.7 million before achieving a small surplus in 2015-2016.