Finance and Treasury Board Minister Allan MacMaster works in his office in Halifax earlier this week. (Communications Nova Scotia)

From a press release:

EAST HANTS/FALL RIVER: Income tax fairness, a universal lunch program for children in public schools, more resources for healthcare and more support for Nova Scotians to meet their needs are key aspects of this year’s provincial budget.

Finance and Treasury Board Minister Allan MacMaster tabled Budget 2024–25: Building Nova Scotia, Faster, which makes investments in central Nova Scotia.

“While Nova Scotians greatly value healthcare, they are also looking for help with the cost of living. They are going to get it in the form of indexed tax brackets and other supports in this budget,” said Minister MacMaster.

“We are listening to Nova Scotians and making important investments in ways that will make a difference.”


With revenues of $15.8 billion and expenses of $16.5 billion, Budget 2024–25 estimates a deficit of $467.4 million after consolidation and adjustments.

Highlights of Budget 2024–25 include:

– beginning January 1, 2025, the Province will index personal income tax brackets, the basic personal amount and certain non-refundable tax credits to Nova Scotia’s inflation rate; it will be the largest tax break in the province’s history and will save Nova Scotians about $160 million in taxes annually by 2028.
– $18.8 million to launch a new universal lunch program for students in public schools, rolling out over four years

– $7.2 million to support Nova Scotians with diabetes, including coverage of glucose monitors and expanding the insulin pump program

– $15 million this year, as part of a $47.3 million three-year commitment, to launch a new Cellular for Nova Scotia Program to expand access to cellular service across the province
– $7.3 billion across the healthcare system, providing the resources to continue making the kind of changes that will have a lasting positive impact system-wide, including:

     – $41.5 million to improve cancer care treatment including new digital imaging technology and equipment that results in improved outcomes and increased survival
     – $36.2 million more for initiatives that move the province toward universal mental health and addictions care for all Nova Scotians.


Highlights of investments that will benefit central Nova Scotia include:

– new public housing in Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) and Truro

– long-term care projects in HRM and Sherbrooke

– school construction projects – Clayton Park-Fairview junior high, Eastern Shore Consolidated, École des Beaux-Marais, École sur la péninsule d’Halifax, St. Joseph’s-Alexander McKay Elementary, West Bedford

– Dartmouth General Hospital magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) unit

– Halifax Infirmary expansion project and dialysis and MRI units

– Halifax Infirmary MRI replacement and relocation

– IWK emergency department

– Highway 102 – Aerotech Connector


– Highway 107 projects:
     – Burnside to Lake Loon twinning

     – Exit 17 to 18 wildlife mitigation, access improvements

     – Exit 18 to 19 passing lanes, access improvements

     – Exit 20 William Porter Connector, access improvements

     – Exit 21 ramp Improvements, access improvements

     – Sackville-Bedford-Burnside Connector

– housing projects at Nova Scotia Community College’s Ivany and Akerley campuses

– $36 million (provincewide) for the maintenance and repair of rural roads under the Rural Impact Mitigation program

– $55 million (provincewide) for gravel roads

– upgrades to provincial parks – Dollar Lake and McNabs and Lawlor Islands

– $637,000 to continue expanded nurse training programs – part of a four-year commitment to add 80 seats for nursing students at Dalhousie University, Cape Breton University and St. Francis Xavier University.


Quick Facts:

– Budget 2024–25 contains includes $1.6 billion for capital projects, sustaining the level of investment for a growing population

– healthcare spending has increased 36 per cent over the past three years

– the final forecast for 2023-24 reports a surplus of $40.3 million

– additional appropriations related to the 2023–24 forecast, totalling $320.2 million, are required by 10 departments since the December forecast.