PEI 2024-25 Budget Summary

Finance Minister Jill Burridge delivered the PEI 2024-25 provincial budget yesterday in the Legislative Assembly, nearly one year after Premier Dennis King’s government was elected to a second term.

Overview

With revenues forecasted at $3.15 billion and planned spending of $3.23 billion, the province is expecting a deficit of approximately $85 million. The deficits for the coming two years, however, are expected to be almost $60 million higher than government had projected a year ago.

Highlights of the new investments in this budget include:

Improving Your Healthcare

  • $10.5 million to add more patient medical homes 
  • $9.9 million to support the implementation of a medical school
  • $7.1 million to add more doctors and more residency seats
  • $6.2 million to improve our recruitment of healthcare professionals
  • $4.9 million to provide more supports for seniors
  • $4.5 million to move towards wage parity for long-term care
  • $3.7 million to enhance access to care
  • $3 million to deliver mental health services
  • $2.4 million to integrate associate physicians and physician assistants
  • $2.2 million to train and upskill more RCWs, LPNs, paramedics and RNs

Building Together

  • $10 million to grow and maintain our inventory of affordable units 
  • $6.9 million to expand shelter spaces and improve supports for vulnerable Islanders
  • $6.7 million for tax rebates for builders
  • $1.6 million to support social housing units
  • $200,000 to support creation of a land use plan

Helping with Everyday Costs

  • $14.6 million for tax system changes
  • $7.3 million for incentives to install heat pumps, hot water heaters and insulation
  • $3.1 million to improve supports for Social Assistance and AccessAbility Support clients
  • $1.1 million to introduce a PEI Children’s Benefit
  • $1 million to keep public transit fares affordable and add transit routes 
  • $380,000 to expand the seniors independence initiative

Learning and Growing

  • $7 million to add more front-line staff to the education system
  • $4.3 million to grow childcare supports and spaces
  • $1 million to support school food programs
  • $940,000 to enhance the George Coles Bursary
  • $708,000 to implement a vision care program for children

Safer Communities and Strengthening Industries

  • $2.4 million to implement the Gender-based Violence Action Plan
  • $2 million to grow the bioscience sector
  • $1 million to fund operating costs of the EV charging network
  • $1 million to strengthen agriculture 
  • $773,000 to improve impaired driving enforcement
  • $500,000 to begin development of a coastal management plan
  • $500,000 to expand the tourism season
  • $205,000 to support diversity and inclusion
  • $150,000 to address workforce challenges of municipal police services 

In Closing

Regarding personal income tax, as of January 2025, the province will increase the basic personal amount to reach $14,250, raising the thresholds for each of the tax brackets and lowering the tax rates for the first 4 tax brackets.

Although there has been a slight decrease in his popularity, Premier Dennis King and his government still enjoy polling numbers that would be the envy of other governments. Polling released earlier this week by Narrative Research indicated the following: “The PCs remain well ahead of other parties in terms of voting intentions. If an election were held today, the PCs are the preferred choice for one-half of decided voters (51%, compared with 56% in November 2023). Support for the Green Party has risen since last quarter (28%, up from 18%). One in ten decided voters support each of the Liberal Party (12%, compared with 17%) and the NDP (9%, compared with 6%).” (Source: PEI: Satisfaction with PEI King government has decreased compared with three months ago. – Narrative Research)

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