More spending, affordability measures coming in pre-election Manitoba budget

WINNIPEG — Manitoba's Progressive Conservative government is promising more spending and more moves to help people with the cost of living in a pre-election budget set for Tuesday.

Finance Minister Cliff Cullen says a stronger economy and increased transfer payments from the federal government offer an opportunity to spend more.

He says public consultations have shown Manitobans want more investment in health and education.

The government has been issuing cheques in recent months to families and individuals to help them deal with inflation, and Cullen says the budget offers a chance to help people in ways other than cheques.

The annual fiscal plan is also expected to include tax cuts — the result of a committee announced last year that has been examining Manitoba's competitiveness with other provinces.

The budget is the last one before a provincial election scheduled for Oct. 3, and comes at a time when the governing Tories are trailing the Opposition NDP in opinion polls.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 6, 2023

The Canadian Press