Saskatchewan finishes 2017-18 with smaller deficit; still $303M in red

Saskatchewan finishes 2017-18 with smaller deficit; still $303M in red
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REGINA — Stronger that expected resource revenue helped the Saskatchewan government finish the last fiscal year with a deficit almost $400 million smaller than initially forecast.

The province finished 2017-18 spending $303 million more than it took in.

But that’s $393 million better than what was projected in last year’s budget.

Finance Minister Donna Harpauer says a stronger performance in the oil and potash sectors helped.

Other factors included an increase in provincial sales tax to six per cent from five per cent and lower crop insurance claims.

Harpauer says her government is on track to return the province to a balanced budget by 2019-20.

“Each fiscal year is unique and while we are on the right path, unanticipated challenges or at times good fortune — like the better-than-anticipated crop year — can occur,” she said in a statement  Thursday.

The new budget released in April projects a deficit of $365 million this year and a thin surplus of $6 million in 2019-20.

The Canadian Press

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