March 8, 2019
The Province released a conservative budget on Thursday, which is clearly directed at making sure they reach their election commitments. The headline budget item was a reduction in the PST by 1%, effective July 1 of this year.
The PST cut will decrease tax revenues by over $325 million in a 12-month period, but this will be offset, at least in the short-term, by higher federal transfers.
Unfortunately for the construction industry, there was very little in the way of new announcements for infrastructure projects, other than the additional $45 million announced for roads and highways to commemorate Manitoba’s 150th anniversary.
This year's budget sees an overall reduction of $74 million in capital spending compared to the previous year. However, it is important to keep in mind that this year’s numbers include projects that have already been announced.
There is $538 million allocated for Health, Schools and Housing, which included the 5 schools announced in the 2018 budget and the personal care homes in Steinbach and Carman.
Other (vertical) Capital infrastructure totaled $382 million, which includes money to municipalities, public service buildings and Parks, etc.
Some other items that received specific mention were an increase of $56 million for school repairs and maintenance, and infrastructure upgrades at the Headingley Correctional Institution, boiler replacement at Central Power House and a fire alarm replacement at the Manitoba Centennial Centre.