Prince Edward Island’s 2014-15 financial report shows the province held the line on program spending while reducing the deficit in the past fiscal year, Finance Minister Allen Roach said.
“Islanders expect their government to be fiscally responsible,” Minister Roach said. “These statements show that we are living within our means while investing in important front-line services that Islanders depend on – and achieving steady progress toward our goal of balancing the budget by 2016-17.”
The province’s Public Accounts – or “blue books” – show an annual deficit for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015 of $20.3 million. This is an improvement from fiscal 2013-14’s deficit of $45.9 million and the third consecutive year of reduced deficits.
The reduction in the annual deficit was a result of higher-than-budgeted revenues combined with restrained program spending by government departments.
The province’s net debt is $2.13 billion for fiscal 2014-15. Although this figure increased modestly from $2.10 billion in 2013-14, the ratio of net debt to GDP (gross domestic product) continued to decrease. A lower net debt-to-GDP percentage means that the province’s economy is growing faster than the net debt and becoming more sustainable.
Prince Edward Island’s net debt is 35.7 per cent of its GDP, compared to New Brunswick at 38.2 per cent and Nova Scotia’s 37 per cent.
“Strong budgetary leadership throughout this government helped us offset some unforeseen expenses resulting from the extraordinarily severe 2015 winter,” Minister Roach said. “Every department – and everyone in those departments – deserves credit for their frugality, which is helping us meet our fiscal commitments to Islanders.”
The Public Accounts is produced in three volumes, which are required to be submitted to the Legislative Assembly by January 31, 2016. “This earlier release of the audited financial statements demonstrates our commitment to accountability and timely access to the province’s financial information,” Minister Roach said.
The 2014-15 Public Accounts – and those from previous years – are available at www.gov.pe.ca/finance/publicaccounts.