Forecast Update Confirms Budget Surplus

first_img Nova Scotia is one of only four provinces to introduce a balanced budget for 2013-14. “Balanced budget 2013 shows that fiscal discipline pays off,” said Mr. Steele. “The major credit rating agencies have recognized the hard work of all Nova Scotians to get their province on stronger financial footing. And all Nova Scotians will share in the benefits this balanced budget brings.” Key investments in Budget 2013 include: funding insulin pumps and supplies for youth up to 19, and supplies for insulin pumps for people younger than 25 expanding dental coverage for children expanding newborn screening to include cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia and eight other conditions providing personal income tax relief to low-income seniors with a new non-refundable Age Amount tax credit reducing small business tax rates for the fourth year in a row, to three per cent helping students succeed in math with curriculum improvements in grades primary to 3 and 10, doubling the time Grade 10 students learn math targeted school board funding to support students with special needs, including plans to hire 25 new program and support staff, psychologists and speech language pathologists an $18.3-million surplus, compared with $16.4 million at budget time total revenues, including net income from government business enterprises, are forecast to be $9.5 billion, down $9.6 million from budget total expenses are forecast to be $9.5 billion, down $11.5 million from budget departmental spending is forecast to be $9.1 million lower than budget gross debt-servicing costs are forecast to be $5.8 million lower than budget three additional appropriations, totaling $12.6 million, to support capital projects and pension valuation adjustments. An additional appropriation was needed for SAP projects through IBM and is fully recoverable. The first forecast update for Budget 2013 confirms a balanced budget that provides fiscal stability and more opportunities for Nova Scotia, making life better for seniors, small businesses, children and families. Acting Finance Minister Graham Steele released the update today, Aug. 19. “Four years ago, government put a plan in place to get back to balance in 2013-14, and that commitment has been kept,” said Mr. Steele. “This year’s surplus demonstrates fiscal discipline and presents greater opportunities going forward, including a decrease of the HST in 2014 and 2015.” Forecast highlights include: Forecast update materials are available on the Department of Finance’s website at www.novascotia.ca/finance/en/home/budget/forecastupdate.aspx .last_img read more

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Kew Gardens joins battle against international log smuggling

Kew Gardens is joining the battle against international log smuggling by opening its historic archive of wood samples to inspectors battling the trade. Experts at the Royal Botanic Gardens are sifting through their “unparalleled” library of specimens, some more than 100 years old, to provide enforcement agents with DNA and isotope data on many of the world’s rarest and most endangered plants. The information will allow border officials to identify species of protected wood smuggled amongst legitimately traded logs. Illegal log smuggling is estimated by Interpol… The depth of the information stored at Kew will also enable tests to discern the exact geographical provenance of woods under suspicion.

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