News Release - August 1, 2002
PUBLIC ACCOUNTS CONFIRM BALANCED BUDGET
Saskatchewan recorded its eighth consecutive balanced budget in 2001-02
with a surplus of $1.1 million in the General Revenue Fund (GRF).
The figures are contained in Volume 1 of the 2001-02 Public Accounts,
released today by Finance Minister Eric Cline.
Volume 1 also confirms that in spite of challenging economic conditions the
government honoured its commitment to lower taxes while increasing
resources for key public services such as health, education, agriculture
"The Public Accounts close the books on a very difficult year for the
Saskatchewan economy," Cline said. "The combination of drought, falling
commodity prices and the global economic downturn meant provincial revenues
tapered off from the dramatic growth shown in 2000-01. Lower revenue from
oil and natural gas was offset in part by higher federal transfers.
Corporation Income Tax revenue was also less, due in part to the economic
slowdown but also to the backlog in processing on the part of the federal
government and the reduction in rates for small business."
Tax cuts were delivered as promised. On a per capita basis Saskatchewan's
operating expenditures were the fourth lowest among the 10 provinces in
2001-02. Saskatchewan's total debt to GDP ratio was 34 per cent at the end
of the 2001-02 fiscal year, down from 69 per cent in 1993. Debt servicing
costs were down nearly $48 million from the previous year.
Cline noted Saskatchewan was rewarded for its sound financial management
with a tenth consecutive credit rating upgrade following the 2002-03
Budget. "Independent analysts continue to confirm that Saskatchewan is on
the right track."
Cline said the eighth consecutive balanced budget underlines the importance
of having a 'rainy-day fund' in the form of the Fiscal Stabilization
Fund. "The year-end financial results for 2001-02 highlight an improvement
in revenues over what was forecast in the 2002-03 provincial budget.
Combined with careful spending, this meant that $131 million less was
required than forecast from the Fiscal Stabilization Fund to balance the
budget for 2001-02. This leaves us better positioned to meet the challenges
for the 2002-03 fiscal year and beyond."
The Summary Financial Statements recorded a $483 million deficit in 2001-
02. This was due mainly to the General Revenue Fund shortfall that was
covered by drawing down the Fiscal Stabilization Fund. The negative impact
of the drought on the Crop Insurance Fund and an increase in the pension
liability also contributed to the deficit.
More information on the 2001-02 Public Accounts can be found at
For more information, contact:
Phone: (306) 787-8109