Karen Casey, Minister of Finance and Treasury Board. (Communications N.S. Photo)

HALIFAX: The provincial public accounts show the province’s growing economy and strong fiscal foundation helped lessen the financial impact of COVID-19 in the 2019-20 year.

Government released the public accounts for the 2019-20 fiscal year today, Aug. 20.

“Nova Scotia had a strong economy coming into this pandemic. This solid foundation enabled us to respond with needed investments to support Nova Scotians and our business community,” said Karen Casey, Minister of Finance and Treasury Board.

The province reported a surplus of $2.3 million for the year ended March 31, 2020. This was $31.3 million lower than the estimated $33.6 million.

Total consolidated revenues were $12.34 billion, an increase of $454.1 million from the budget estimate mainly due to changes in tax revenue, recoveries and federal transfer payments.

Total consolidated expenses were $12.34 billion, an increase of $485.5 million from the budget estimate mainly due to COVID-19 relief funding, demand for various health-care and other social services, and additional funding required for the remediation of Boat Harbour. This was a result of updated cost estimates provided by engineering experts after preliminary testing on site.

At year end, net debt was $15.24 billion. The net-debt to GDP ratio for 2019-20 was 33.1 per cent.

The acting Auditor General provided an unmodified opinion on the Province’s consolidated financial statements for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020.

Quick Facts:
— additional appropriations totaling $198,887,000 were required since the final forecast for 14 departments and offices, and government contributions to benefit plans
— the annual public accounts report the actual financial results at the end of the fiscal year and compare them to the budget approved at the beginning of the fiscal year
— the public accounts include the consolidated financial statements of the Province and financial information of departments, financial statements of Crown corporations and funds, and departmental details about salaries, payments to suppliers, travel and other expenses
— government entities also released compensation over $100,000 for individuals as required by the Public Sector Compensation Disclosure Act

Additional Resources:
The three-volume set of documents are online at https://beta.novascotia.ca/public-accounts

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