Finance Minister Siobhan Coady speaks to reporters Wednesday at Confederation Building about the latest Newfoundland and Labrador budget. (Patrick Butler/Radio-Canada )
Newfoundland and Labrador’s latest budget includes a lot of numbers — some of them dire enough to keep politicians awake at night, and many likely to affect people in the province in different ways.
Here are some of them.
0.21 cents: How much, per litre, you will pay for gasoline to cover the federally mandated carbon tax. For diesel fuel, the cost is up by 2.68 cents a litre.
5 cents: Extra cost of each cigarette in a pack. The government is adding 10 cents per gram in tax on tobacco in a pouch.
20 per cent: Amount of a new tax on vaping products, which are a public health target in the budget. The provincial government will spend $1.7 million on prevention and reduction strategies for vaping.
$16.4 billion: Estimated size of the net debt. While that is down from a slightly higher number disclosed in the summer, it is considerably higher than the $13.77 billion disclosed in the 2019 budget.
$1.84 billion: Current estimate of the deficit for this fiscal year.
$1.1 billion: Revised value of the surplus for the 2019-20 fiscal year, which ended in March. That is down considerably from the $1.924 billion that the government project in April 2019, “largely as a result of the guaranteed revenue stream secured from the Atlantic Accord agreement.”
$25: Cost per day of a new child-care program that the government says it will introduce in 2021. This addresses a prominent pledge that Premier Andrew Furey made in the Liberal leadership campaign.
$62 million: Sum earmarked for early childhood development programs.
The Newfoundland and Labrador government has hiked a tax on vaping products, and will also spend more to curb the practice. (David Mercado/Reuters)
$2.1 million: Funding to help market Newfoundland and Labrador to new permanent residents, and to “provide supports to assist in their settlement.”
$1 million: New funding for ArtsNL, bringing overall expenditure to $3.9 million.
$39: Estimated average price, in U.S. dollars, of a barrel of oil for the coming year. Brent crude, which Newfoundland and Labrador tracks for budget purposes, was trading Wednesday above US $41. The government is forecasting the Canadian to U.S. dollar exchange rate to average 0.738.
$64.30: Average price of Brent crude in 2019. In 2018, the figure was $71.34.
$3 billion: Gross borrowing for this fiscal year. Last year, that figure amount to $1.2 billion.
$8.97 billion: Overall expenses for the current fiscal year. Last year’s budget pegged this number at $8.425 billion.