The possibility of financial cuts and restraints for the provincial government were confirmed with the mid-year budget update.

Saskatchewan Finance Minister Kevin Doherty announced the province's deficit is set at $1.042 billion at the mid-way point of the 2016-2017 fiscal year.

A drop in revenue has greatly affected the budget increase as indicated by Doherty during the presentation of the report. Non-renewable resources are down nearly $180 million while potash has seen a fall to the tune of $141 million.

“Continued low oil and potash prices are having a greater impact on revenue than expected,” said Doherty. “It has now been two full years since the oil price started to drop in the fall of 2014, and we are seeing a much greater effect on corporate and personal income tax and the Provincial Sales Tax.

Taxation is down to $400 million along with a loss of $236 million from repayments from the Worker's Compensation Board. Crop insurance claims, social services claims, and pressure in the health sector have contributed to the rising deficit as well. Those pressures have created a total expense forecast up $285 million from the budget.

In response to the report, the government will implement a hiring freeze with only hiring for positions considered essential. “Public sector salary expense across government is now about $6.3 billion a year, so if we are going to control government spending, we have to control labour costs,” added Doherty.

The government projected a total deficit of $434 million when the budget was released in June.