Nova Scotia records 'surprise' surplus of $350.9 million in 2021-22 fiscal year

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Nova Scotia has closed the books on the 2021-22 fiscal year, recording a $350.9-million surplus after forecasting a deficit of $584.9 million in the March 2021 budget.

Finance Department officials say the $935.8-million swing from the forecast figure is the largest in the province’s history.

Finance Minister Allan MacMaster called the surplus number a "surprise," saying provincial revenues for the fiscal year were $14.1 billion, an increase of $1.3 billion over the budget due to increases in tax revenues, the forfeiture of offshore gas licences and federal transfers.

MacMaster says expenses of $13.7 billion were up $386 million from the budget because of increased pandemic support for health care, additional transfers to municipalities and university infrastructure funding.

The minister says the figures for the year ending March 31 reflect the province’s stronger than anticipated economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nova Scotia ended the fiscal year with a net debt of $16.6 billion — $167.5 million higher than the previous year.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 9, 2022.

The Canadian Press