November 20, 2009
For immediate release
Provincial Budgeting on Target
The Province’s budget is projected to be on target in the 2nd quarter forecast, says Provincial Treasurer, the Honourable Wes Sheridan.
“Prince Edward Island’s economy is doing well despite the fiscal turmoil that has gripped the world for the past 18 months. The global economy is beginning to emerge from the most pronounced recession since the end of the Second World War,” Minister Sheridan said.
The Minister made the comments today after he tabled three financial documents: the Audited Public Accounts for Fiscal year 2008-09, the Fiscal Update for 2009-2010, and the Economic Progress Report - 2009.
In the Spring of this year, the deficit for fiscal year 2008-09 was forecast to be $47 million. The Audited Public Accounts for fiscal 2008-09 shows PEI’s deficit will now be $33 million.
“This is the earliest release of the audited Public Accounts in recent memory which further reflects our Government's commitment to transparency, timeliness and improved accountability. This will enable us to move closer to the delivery of audited Financial Statements prior to the next General Election,” Minister Sheridan said.
“There are jurisdictions across this country that are millions and, in some cases, billions of dollars off their budget targets for this fiscal year. The Fiscal Update released today for 2009-10 indicates the government is on target to meet its budget for this fiscal year with revenues and expenditures tracking as budgeted. We are pleased that our stimulus package has contributed to this result,” Minister Sheridan said.
“I believe we all share a responsibility to ensure that our Province is not saddled with an unmanageable fiscal and economic situation, and that collectively we work to implement sound fiscal and economic principles for future generations,” the Minister said.
The findings in the Economic Progress Report - 2009 indicate:
• PEI is leading the nation in the rate of job creation and in non-residential construction.
• The number of jobs on PEI has increased by 2.3 per cent on a year-to-date basis.
• Total labour income increased by 4.7 per cent.
• Housing starts increased 9.5 per cent.
• Farm cash receipts increased by 16.3 per cent.
• Fish landings improved but faced lower prices.
• Bridge traffic and cruise ship visits have increased.
• The value of manufacturing shipments declined by 5.1 per cent, the least of all provinces.
• PEI is the only Province to see an increase in the value of international exports.
The Report shows the Provincial economy is forecast to expand in the order of 0.5 per cent in 2009 and to strengthen in 2010 as recovery in the national and international economy takes hold.
“This government has stated, time after time, it would be there for Islanders during hard times and we have positioned ourselves to emerge from this downturn stronger than ever,” Minister Sheridan said.
“The recent deficits were necessary in the face of an economic downturn and renewing our public infrastructure. It is now time to turn the corner and start working toward a balanced budget. This will be a challenging task, but with the full cooperation of Islanders I am confident we will be able to achieve this goal,” Minister Sheridan said.