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Nova Scotia's 2018-2019 Budget

With the 2018-2019 budget around the corner, we are ensuring the Government of Nova Scotia understands your concerns and priorities.

Demographic reality check

CFIB examined the impact of population change from an Atlantic perspective in Winter is coming: Why Atlantic Canada’s aging population should scare governments (and the people who pay for them). The report revealed the severity of demographic challenges in the region and made it clear short-term, election-cycle budgetary planning is no longer an option. Long-term planning and a strategy to “future-proof” the economy is the only way forward.

What that means for Nova Scotia's 2018-2019 budget

In a nutshell, the province’s aging and declining population combined with escalating government spending and declining revenues means the province’s finances are unsustainable. Encouraging economic growth and creating the conditions for your business' success are more important now than ever before.

In essence, the future of Nova Scotia's economy begins now.

In Toward Fiscal Sustainability: A small business perspective on Nova Scotia's 2018/19 budget, we made the following recommendations on your behalf to the Government of Nova Scotia:

  • Balance the budget.
  • Introduce tax reforms including indexing personal income tax brackets, providing a tax incentive for hiring and training employees, and reducing the HST.
  • Intensify regulatory reform efforts to maximize the opportunity for GDP growth. 
  • Reduce government spending to no more than 20 per cent of GDP (Canada’s national average).
  • Reduce Nova Scotia’s public sector employment rate to the national average.
  • Align public sector wages and benefits with private sector levels.
  • Plan for lower GDP growth that reflects the impact of changing demographics on the economy.
  • Reduce the debt to mitigate the impact of increasing interest rates.
  • Include long-term projections in the budget to provide clarity on the fiscal implications of population change on sustainability.

A sustainable future is possible. What’s needed is for the Government of Nova Scotia to start moving toward it. The 2018-2019 budget is the right place to start.