Protecting our Future
- Real GDP grew by 4.7%, led by growth in
exports and consumer spending.
- Offshore oil production grew by 17.9%
to 123.0 million barrels.
- Employment increased by 1.8% to 217,800
on an annual average basis.
- Real personal income grew by 1.4% and
real disposable income increased by 1.1%.
- Real GDP is expected to grow by 1.3%
driven mainly by consumer spending and investment.
- Employment is expected to grow by 0.9%
to 219,700 and the unemployment rate is set to decline to 16.4%.
- Inflation is expected to be 1.8%, which
is lower than inflation in 2003-04.
- Retail sales are expected to increase
by 3.0% to $5.5 billion.
- Housing starts are estimated to be
- Capital investment is expected to
increase by 10.5% to almost $4.2 billion, the highest level
Fiscal Performance 2003-04
- Accrual deficit of $958.7 million versus
$665.9 million at budget.
- Cash deficit of $406.6 million versus
$286.6 million at budget.
Budget Outlook 2004-05
- Accrual deficit of $839.6 million versus
PricewaterhouseCoopers estimate of $988.9 million.
- Cash deficit of $361.6 million versus
PricewaterhouseCoopers estimate of $601.6 million.
Our Social Responsibility
Government has a responsibility to ensure the
efficient and effective delivery of resources to those who need them.
Measures taken in this budget protect valuable social programs.
- An investment of $1 million for
community mental health services in response to the Reid/Power Inquiry.
- $8.6 million increase in the Drug
Program to over $106 million, $800,000 is provided for a new
chemotherapy drug to help fight cancer (Gleevac).
- $4.3 million will be spent this
year on additional primary health care projects.
- Funding for additional social
workers for Labrador and St. Johnís.
- Implementation of year five of
the Personal Care Home Strategy at an additional cost of $475,000, to
increase personal care home rates for those who provide care to our
- $200,000 to assist the new
Ministerial Advisory Council for Aging and Seniors to ensure that the
needs and concerns of seniors are properly understood and addressed.
Government will also establish a Division of Aging and Seniors in the
Department of Health and Community Services.
- Funding is provided for a new
Chief Nurse position within the Department of Health and Community
- $22.1 million will be spent in
2004-05 on major capital construction projects to improve existing
schools and construct new facilities.
- $13.9 million of this is for
projects already underway, including the new Francophone
school/community centre, and extension and renovations at Northshore
Elementary School (Meadows) and improvement to the St. Bernardís
School in Mobile.
- $8.2 million is for major
- Funding is allocated for creation
of a Ministerial Council on Early Childhood Learning to foster
comprehensive programs across all government departments and agencies
that focus on the learning needs of children and their families.
- $250,000 to proceed with a White
Paper on Post Secondary Education.
- Tuition is frozen at Memorial
University and the College of the North Atlantic.
Help for Those Who Need it Most
- Commencing in the 2005 taxation
year, a Low Income Tax Credit will be instituted; individuals with net
income up to $12,000 and families with net income up to $19,000 will
pay no provincial personal income tax. The annual cost of this measure
will be $5.3 million.
- Indexing of the Seniorsí
Benefit and the Newfoundland and Labrador Child Benefit to the
Consumer Price Index will start in 2004 at a cost of $400,000.
- Enhancement of the Mother Baby
Nutritional Supplement to provide eligible mothers $90 at the time of
- $250,000 to implement a
"Healthy Children - Healthy Schools" program.
- $500,000 grant for the Kids Eat
- Government will provide an extra
$1.6 million to further enhance the Child Care Services Subsidy
- Additional $400,000 to expand the
supported-employment program to assist people with disabilities to
enter the workforce.
- Additional $100,000 to address
- Increased funding for the Womenís
Advisory Council and for eight Womenís Centres located throughout
Policing and Justice
- Train 75 new RNC officers over
three years at Memorial University.
- $2.25 million by 2007-08 to hire
45 new RNC officers.
- Funding for an additional four
RCMP officers in Labrador.
- $1.5 million for new equipment
and training for the RNC, some of which was recommended by the
- $2 million for the Supreme Court
in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.
Investing in Our Future
As we restructure our social programs to make them more efficient and
sustainable, we will also seek new revenues for social programs by
investing strategically in economic growth and job creation.
- A new Department of Business will
be established, to be led by the Premier, with an annual budget of $1
- $350,000 provided for a
Newfoundland and Labrador Office of Federal-Provincial Relations in
- $1.25 million will be spent to
implement the recommendations of the Dunne report on fish processing
policy, to be offset by increased fees for fish processing licenses.
- $1 million will be spent to
preserve the provinceís contributions to fisheries and aquaculture
- Cost-share with the federal
government $7.5 million for year two of the federal/provincial
agreement on Agricultural Policy Framework.
- $500,000 for land development,
allowing farmers to lease land not currently being used for
- $80,000 for a focused effort on
preparation of a comprehensive energy plan for the province.
- $7.3 million for a silviculture
program to help promote sustainable development in our forest
- $3.5 million for the Forest
Resource Roads Program, allowing access to hard to harvest forestry
stands and for infrastructure development for the coastal Labrador
- $7 million for tourism marketing
initiatives. This is a $1 million increase over the last year, and
further increases will be made each year until our marketing effort
matches that of the Maritime provinces.
- $825,000 is allocated to augment
the $1.5 million in federal funding to grow cultural industries.
- $150,000 for French Heritage
- $250,000 grant to the Heritage
Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador.
- $200,000 for the Music Industry
Association of Newfoundland and Labrador.
- A new Chief
Information/Innovation Officer will lead a new Innovation and Advanced
Technologies Branch within the Department of Innovation, Trade and
Rural Development. This new branch will develop a comprehensive
innovation strategy, for which $200,000 is earmarked.
- $7 million in additional funding
for a total of $30 million for the Provincial Roads Program.
- $24 million to proceed with Phase
III of the Trans Labrador Highway and complete Phase II.
- $15.1 million in the Strategic
Highway Infrastructure Program (upgrades to the TCH).
- $1.5 million for capital
improvements to island ferry terminals; $750,000 for upgrades and
maintenance to ferry terminals for Coastal Labrador Ferry Services.
- $2.4 million for the Ferry Vessel
- $430,000 for Road Weather
Information System (first of a three year project totaling $1 million
to assist winter maintenance crews by more precisely predicting when
and where to apply sand and salt).
- $1.7 million from existing funds
for a new Rural Secretariat as the focal point for government to work
with local and regional partners to building strong and dynamic
- Funding for broadband internet
infrastructure for rural communities.
Back to Budget 2004