Budget Highlights for the Fiscal Year 2013–14

first_img continue to help Nova Scotians with the rising cost of home energy through the Heating Assistance Rebate Program, $12.4 million, and Your Energy Rebate, $104 million increase the maximum property tax rebate by $200, bringing the total up to $800. About 15,000 seniors qualify for the rebate. Of those, 4,000 will benefit from the increase to help them stay in their homes exempt more of the province’s low-income seniors from paying provincial income tax, and return a greater portion of income tax to more seniors. In the last four years, many low-income seniors receiving the Guaranteed Income Supplement benefited from not having to pay provincial income tax. This put an average of $450 back into the hands of 17,000 seniors who needed it most. Starting Jan. 1, 2014, that number will increase to 25,000. An additional 4,000 seniors will also have a portion of their income tax returned to them through a new provincial $1,000 non-refundable Age Amount tax credit. In total, 29,000 seniors will receive more income tax relief invest more in the Graduate Retention Rebate Program for new graduates, $6 million increase the personal allowance rates for income assistance beneficiaries by $17 per month, bringing the total increase over four years to $47 each month, a 22 per cent increase provide more Nova Scotians with safe, affordable housing options through the province’s first housing strategy PROVIDING BETTER CARE SOONER The province’s Better Care Sooner plan is working. Budget 2013-14 makes new investments to keep emergency rooms open, to better meet patients’ needs and to improve children’s health. Budget 2013-14 will: NOTE: A social media release is available at http://novascotia.ca/news/smr/2013-04-04-Budget-2013/ . High-res, downloadable photos, video and audio clips will be added after the event. For the complete budget address and other budget documents, visit www.novascotia.ca . MAKING LIFE MORE AFFORDABLE FOR NOVA SCOTIANS The province is committed to making life more affordable for families. Budget 2013-14 puts more money back into the hands of families, seniors, low-income Nova Scotians and students. Budget 2013-14 will: BACK TO BALANCE Nova Scotia’s fiscal plan is working. Spending restraint is the cornerstone of Back to Balance, even in light of better-than-expected revenues. Everyone shared in the challenge of getting Nova Scotia back to balance. Our fiscal discipline will allow the province to reduce the HST by one percentage point in 2014 and by another in 2015. Getting back to balance, and staying there, is critical to ensuring the services Nova Scotia’s families rely on are there when they need them, now and for generations to come. The province has: introduce single-window, streamlined access to current small-business programs, ensuring business owners can easily find and connect with the help they need to grow, hire and succeed reduce the rate of corporate income tax for small businesses to three per cent as of Jan. 1, 2014. Over four years, that is a drop of two percentage points in income tax and almost $78 million in savings for small business that can be reinvested to compete, grow and hire. The small business limit threshold will also be lowered to $350,000. The combined impact of these reductions mean that 93 per cent of small businesses will save $26 million in 2013–14, and more than $33 million per year when the changes are fully implemented. maintain a suite of innovation and learning programs to support small businesses that want to train employees, develop new products and improve productivity, $13.9 million help fund new equipment, clean technology, software and hardware for businesses, $14.5 million provide ongoing support for apprentices through in-class and online training opportunities, $4.5 million build and maintain roads and structures, $248.4 million open collaborative emergency centres in more Nova Scotian communities this year fund insulin pumps and supplies for youth to 19 and supplies for insulin pumps for people younger than 25, $5.3 million expand dental coverage for children by four years: starting in 2013–14, children 13 or younger will be able to receive universal dental coverage for check-ups and treatments, $2.1 million expand newborn screening to include cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, and eight additional conditions, $1.3 million partner with other provinces across Canada to reduce the price of six common generic drugs used by many Nova Scotians fund Nova Scotia’s first mental health and addictions strategy, Together We Can, $2.5 million FOCUS ON WOMEN Budget 2013-14 makes strategic investments in areas that benefit women’s health, protect the most vulnerable women in society, and continue to support the creation of good jobs throughout Nova Scotia. Budget 2013-14 will: PUTTING KIDS AND LEARNING FIRST Nova Scotia has a plan to help every student succeed. Together with teachers, parents, school boards, communities and children, the province’s Kids and Learning First plan is preparing our young people for success through a greater focus on the early years, the basics and safer, better schools. Budget 2013-14 will: establish children’s centres to make it easier for families to access support services for young children and help them make a successful transition to elementary school, $1.2 million continue to cap class sizes for grades primary to three at 25 students, ensuring that average class sizes remain the smallest in a generation enable school boards to hire 25 new program support staff, psychologists, and speech–language pathologists to help children with special needs, and provide funding for 15 teachers’ assistants, $3.7 million help students succeed in math by giving them more time to focus on fewer topics, in more depth, through curriculum improvements in grades primary to three, and double the time Grade 10 students learn math, $3 million support students in small and rural communities by tripling the number of students who can participate in courses through online virtual classrooms, $252,000 increase and stabilize funding for transition houses and women’s centres target groups under-represented in the workforce, as part of the province’s ongoing workforce strategy continue support for Techsploration, an innovative program designed to introduce girls to career development opportunities in science, trades and technical and technology-related fields, $75,000 support Cybersafe Girl to keep girls safe online, $20,000 continue to support the domestic violence court, work on the province’s domestic violence plan and develop a sexual violence framework analyzed government and school board procurement to find savings, better prices and improved contracts for products and services, saving the province $14.8 million in 2013–2014 alone held salary increases below previous levels, generating nearly $200 million in annual savings for taxpayers ended March Madness and end-of-year spending reduced the size of the civil service by more than 600 reined in growing health-care spending; efforts such as merging district health authorities and IWK administrative services have held DHA budget increases, on average, to only 1.6 per cent a year since 2009–10 increased per-student funding to $10,762, the highest amount in a generation, and worked with school boards to reduce administrative costs Budget 2013-14 is balanced. This year, the government will continue to make strategic investments to create good jobs, grow the economy, and help make life better for families. Budget 2013-14 includes $9.5 billion in revenues, $9.5 billion in total spending, and a bottom-line surplus of $16.4 million. With the province’s finances now back to balance, Nova Scotia is poised to take advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead. CREATING GOOD JOBS AND GROWING THE ECONOMY Nova Scotia is beginning to turn the corner toward greater prosperity and game-changing opportunities. jobsHere is helping hundreds of small businesses get started, expand into new markets, make productivity upgrades and train employees now and for the future. Budget 2013-14 will:last_img read more