Budget 2017 projects modest surpluses of
- $295 million in 2017-18.
- $244 million in 2018-19.
- Wholesale and retail: $21 million.
- $223 million in 2019-20.
Revenue OutlookTotal government revenue is forecast at $50.8 billion in 2017-18, $51.2 billion in 2018-19, and $52.0 billion in 2019-20.
Expense OutlookTotal expense over the three-year plan is forecast at $50.2 billion in 2017-18, $50.7 billion in 2018-19, and $51.6 billion in 2019-20. In addition to an annual average 3.6% funding lift for the Ministry of Health, government is increasing ministry operating budgets by almost $3 billion over the three-year fiscal plan compared to Budget 2016 amounts, including $740 million in funding to the K-12 sector and $796 million in additional support for children, families, and individuals in need. Taxpayer-supported infrastructure spending on hospitals, schools, post-secondary facilities, transit, and roads will total $13.7 billion over the fiscal plan period.
Keeping debt affordableThe Province's taxpayer-supported debt-to-GDP ratio, a key measure of debt affordability, is forecast to decline to 16.0% in 2019-20, down from 17.9% in 2013-14. Total taxpayer-supported debt is projected to fall year-over-year in 2016-17 for the first time since 2008-09, and direct operating debt is on track to be eliminated by 2020-21, the first time since 1975-76. Direct operating debt is forecast to decline by $4.1 billion over the course of the fiscal plan, from $5.2 billion in 2016-17 to $1.1 billion by 2019-20-a decrease of 79% and its lowest point since 1982-83. Taxpayer-supported interest costs continue to remain low, averaging 4.2 cents per dollar of revenue over the three-year fiscal plan. Total taxpayer-supported debt is forecast to be $43.3 billion in 2017-18, $45.2 billion in 2018-19 and $47.2 billion in 2019-20, reflecting a significant increase in infrastructure investment over the next three years. Self-supported debt of commercial Crown corporations is forecast to be $26.1 billion in 2017-18, $28.0 billion in 2018-19 and $30.2 billion in 2019-20.
PrudenceThe fiscal plan includes contingencies of $400 million in 2017-18, $300 million in 2018-19 and $300 million in 2019-20 to help manage unexpected costs and priority initiatives. As well, the fiscal plan includes forecast allowances of $350 million in 2017-18, and $250 million in each of 2018-19 and 2019-20 as a hedge against volatility, including unforeseen changes in revenue.
For more details on Budget 2017, visit: www.bcbudget.ca
For online information and services, visit the Province's website: www.gov.bc.ca