Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island are expected to table balanced budgets this year while New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and the federal government still have sizeable deficits to eliminate, according to APEC's pre-budget assessment.
Almost one out of every ten dollars in revenue goes to pay for past borrowing which means that money isn’t available for current program needs. Total debt service costs in the four Atlantic provinces amount to $2.7 billion this fiscal year.
APEC reports economic growth is a key driver of own-source revenues and the Atlantic provinces should be cautious about considering any further tax increases as they need to attract and retain investment and skilled workers. It’s important for Atlantic governments to prioritize creating and maintaining an environment where businesses can thrive.