The 2024-25 Manitoba Budget

The 2024 Manitoba Budget: Manitoba’s NDP government delivered its first budget since assuming power in the fall of 2023, with a financial programme that is heavily focused on healthcare and affordability. Finance Minister Adrien Sala’s budget predicts a $796 million dollar deficit, with a promised return to budget balance in four years.

With healthcare as a a primary focus, the Kinew government has promised the following:

  • Hiring one thousand new health care workers: 100 doctors, 210 nurses, 90 paramedics and 600 health care aids
  • $309.5 million to recruit, retain and train more health care workers, including: $66.7 million to increase bed capacity and reduce ER wait times, $25.2 million to permanently increase critical care capacity (ICUs) and $47.28 million to connect more Manitobans with a Family Doctor
  • $635 million in 2024 for health capital investments, including starting work to design and build a new Victoria Hospital Emergency Room
  • $17.6 million to open two new Minor Injury and Illness Clinics and to establish the first of five primary care clinics
  • $6.9 million in operating for better cancer care, including: access to cancer drugs, companion testing to better match cancer drugs with specific oncology patients and $112,000 for pre-design work for a new CancerCare Headquarters.
  • $22.3 million to provide better care for seniors including: providing more direct hours of care for seniors in Personal Care Homes, implementing the new Safe and Healthy at Home program to support aging in place and funding for the office of legislated, independent Seniors’ Advocate.

 

Affordability measures were also top of mind, with pledges to extend the gas tax cut, and bring in a new $1,500 Homeowners Affordability Tax Credit and an increased $575 Renters Tax Credit and up to $328 seniors top-up. The province also promises a five percent cut in auto insurance rates, and broad middle-class tax cuts by increasing the personal income tax bracket thresholds. A $4,000 rebate for new electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrids and a $2,500 rebate for used EVs and plug-in hybrids was also pledged.

Measures related to public safety and support for vulnerable individuals also were highlighted, including:

  • $104.2 million in education funding to help every child reach their full potential, including $30 million for a universal school nutrition program
  • $160 million in capital investments for construction, expansion, and improvements in school properties, including two new schools in Winnipeg
  • $116 million in funding to build and maintain social and affordable housing
  • Doubling the pre-natal benefit to $162.82, making it the highest in Canada
  • Increase of nearly $20 million for Community Living disABILITY services/ Children’s disABILITY services
  • $58.9 million increase to lift the freeze on municipalities including an increase of $51.6 million to the operating grants, $7.3 million to capital grants
  • $3.9 million to establish a supervised consumption site, addiction treatment beds, and support harm reduction service

The government is also looking to showcase the province as a low-carbon jurisdiction as part of its economic focus, which included the following:

  • $540 million capital investments in highways and other transportation and water-related infrastructure
  • $146.9 million total in Business Risk Management programs, including for AgriInsurance, Wildlife Damage Compensation, AgriStability and AgriInvest
  • $32.9 million increase for the Federal/Provincial Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program to support continuing infrastructure projects
  • $10 million investments in New Flyer Inc.’s All Canadian Build facility to build more electric buses in Manitoba and create a centre of excellence
  • $20.9 million to support new child-care spaces and increase wages for childcare workers
  • $43 million to support post-secondary students training for their careers
  • $1.5 million to increase the number of apprenticeship training seats to help grow the skilled labour force

 

As is occurring to other jurisdictions, Manitoba is predicting a slowing economy this year. Manitoba’s real gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to decelerate from 1.4 percent growth in 2023 to 0.6 percent in 2024.  Manitoba’s economy is expected to expand in 2025, growing by 1.9 percent.

References

A breakdown of today’s budget can be found at the following link: Budget 2024 – Budget in Brief (gov.mb.ca).

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