By Jake Fuss
and Alex Whalen
The Fraser Institute
Just three months ago, provincial Finance Minister Karen Casey released a budget projecting an operating surplus, which would have been the Nova Scotia’s fifth consecutive balanced budget.
However, due to COVID-19, circumstances have changed dramatically and the province now expects to run a large deficit this year.
The provincial budget introduced in February predicted an operating surplus of $55 million in 2020-21. But the province’s net debt (total debt minus financial assets) was expected to increase by more than $500 million because the government separates annual spending (the operating budget) from long-term spending (the capital budget, which pays for new schools, highways, etc.).