Premier Scott Moe’s government delivered a balanced budget with a surplus of 34.4 million dollars; it’s the first time the Province has had a budget surplus in three years.
Finance Minister Donna Harpauer says the budget contains no new taxes or tax increases while achieving a balanced budget that is affordable and sustainable, now and in the years ahead.
Agriculture Minister David Marit says they’re very excited about it especially with no new tax hikes.
He says the Agriculture budget will see a 3.3 % increase or a little over $12 million dollars noting enhancements in crop insurance.
“Forage and pasture coverage we’ve upped that and offered producers a couple of different offers in that. We’ve increased corn coverage on that side of it, so we’re excited about that. Also, we’ve extended the dates for cereal fall seeded from September 15 to September 30.”
Marit notes the increase in the agriculture budget is being spent in a variety of ways to improve programs adding there’s increased funding for the Rat Control program which is delivered by SARM.
“We gave them an increase in the Rat Control program of $350 thousand which is something that their members had asked for and they asked us also for it. Obviously, we’re concerned about the rat population. We’ve seen some very good reductions in the last four or five years with that program and we want to continue to see those reductions.”
He adds the province is also committed to agricultural research noting in the global markets it’s important to stay focused on research, noting this year’s research budget is just under $32 million.
Marit says overall it’s a strong budget for the Province of Saskatchewan and it’s balanced.