#Manitoba; #MidYearFinancialReportAndEconomicOutlook; #Covid19Pandemic; #GDP; #$3.2BillionInvestment; #MFSOPSF; #FiscalStabilizationAccount
Manitoba/Canadian-Media: Manitoba's Premier Brian Pallister and Finance Minister Scott Fielding announced on Dec 16 the release of its mid-year financial report and economic outlook for fiscal year-end forecast to March 31, 2021 showing $3.2 billion investment to protect Manitobans during the unprecedented fiscal and public health challenges created by COVID-19.
Image: Brian Pallister. Image credit: Twitter handle
“Our government’s number one priority is protecting our most vulnerable Manitobans from COVID-19 and ensuring our health-care system is there for all Manitobans when they need it, during the pandemic...the first and second wave of COVID-19 pandemic in the fall and early winter pandemic, and well after the pandemic...creating unprecedented challenges for our health-care system and the economy...to protect Manitobans and support local businesses," said Pallister in a news release.
A revised deficit of $2.048 billion, highest deficit in Manitoba history, with significant uncertainty in forecasting the remaining months was projected for the 2020-21 fiscal year.
“Our government will continue...to invest when and where it is needed, ensuring the public health response and individual and business supports are in place as we continue to battle COVID-19 and look ahead to vaccine deployment and the longer-term recovery,” said Fielding in the news release.
Scott Fielding. Image credit: Twitter handle
Manitoba has committed $3.2 billion in response to the health, social, and economic impacts of the pandemic and an additional $633 million above originally budgeted amounts to address the pandemic including $522 million for personal protective equipment and additional staffing costs for health-care officials.
More than $585 million was announced by the province in new supports since the first quarter report including Manitoba Bridge Grant; Safe Schools Fund and Safe Restart Contingency Fund; Safe Restart Agreement funding to municipalities, Long-term Recovery Fund; Caregiver Wage Support Program; and Pandemic Staffing Support Benefit.
Provincial revenue is forecast to be $372 million lower than budget as a result of the economic shutdown and supplementary borrowing $5 billion was approved by Manitoba legislature to address pandemic funding needs.
Having access to the domestic and international markets to meet its borrowing and financing obligations, Manitoba was able to maintain the Fiscal Stabilization Account, or rainy day fund, at $800 million, ascertaining additional liquidity reserves should the government be unable to access further borrowing.
Manitoba’s real GDP is expected to decline by 4.6 percent in 2020, then rebound in 2021 by a projected 4.1 percent.
The latest Manitoba Finance Survey of Private Sector Forecasts (MFSOPSF) indicates a strong recovery over the next two years, based on previous results.