The Nova Scotia 2024-25 Provincial Budget Summary

Deputy Premier and Finance Minister Allan MacMaster delivered his government’s 2024-25 provincial budget; this is the third budget delivered by the Progressive Conservative government led by Premier Tim Houston.

Overview

Deputy Premier and Finance Minister Allan MacMaster delivered his government’s 2024-25 provincial budget; this is the third budget delivered by the Progressive Conservative government led by Premier Tim Houston.
Entitled “Building Nova Scotia, Faster” it contains a series of measures aimed at the government’s priority policy focus, healthcare, and also contained various affordability measures. It forecasts a deficit of $467.4 million.
In relation to healthcare, the government has increased the overall spending by $1.9 billion in the last three years, for a total healthcare budget of $7.3 billion.

Health spending represents 44 percent of Nova Scotia government spending. Specific initiatives include:

  • $360.7 million more for Nova Scotia Health and IWK Health to deliver their programs and services to a growing population
  • $184.3 million more to continue progress on the Action for Health plan, including:
    • $59.2 million for primary healthcare initiatives, including the development of chronic disease care pathways and continuing to expand access to care options
    • $19.8 million for initiatives to move patients through the healthcare system more quickly
    • $19.6 million for cancer care and precision medicine improvements, including implementing an “at home” cancer care program and advancing Spinal Muscular Atrophy screening.
  • $36.2 million more for initiatives that move the province toward universal mental health and addictions care for all Nova Scotians.
  • The Houston government is devoting resources in particular to enhancing the healthcare workforce, including funding for the Primary Care Paramedic Program, emergency medical responders, the Acadia University Nursing Program, the NSCC Practical Nursing Program, and medical laboratory technicians. 

Affordability highlights include:

  • Beginning January 1, 2025, indexing personal income tax brackets, the basic personal amount and certain non-refundable tax credits to Nova Scotia’s inflation rate. It will be the largest tax break in the province’s history and will save Nova Scotians about $150- $160 million per year in taxes by 2028.
  • Increased funding to reduce child poverty, additional rent supplements, a fertility and surrogacy tax credit, a property tax credit, and funding to eliminate the 10% HST on home heating.
  • $5 million more, for a total of $23.8 million, for the Home Repair and Adaptation Program to help more low-income homeowners
  • $1.2 million for the Fertility and Surrogacy Tax Credit to help offset costs of fertility and surrogacy related expenses
  • $3.2 million for the Children’s Sport and Art Tax Credit of $500 to support children participating in sports and arts programs
  • $26.5 million this year to provide the Seniors Care Grant to help older Nova Scotians stay in their home and communities
  • $18.2 million to return provincial income taxes paid by more than 10,000 seniors who also receive the Guaranteed Income Supplement
  • $1.2 million more, for a total of $10.4 million, for the Property Tax Rebate, which offers eligible seniors a rebate of half of their property taxes, up to $800
  • $60.9 million for about 200,000 families through the Affordable Living Tax Credit
  • $144.2 million for the Your Energy Rebate Program to eliminate the 10% provincial HST on home heating
  • $84.6 million for initiatives to reduce homelessness, including more supportive housing units, operational funding for shelters, and $102.3 million to take action on the Human Rights Remedy by making significant changes within the Disability Support Program and helping people with disabilities to better meet their needs. 

Housing initiatives also figured prominently, with certain items having been presented in the capital plan.

  • $80-$100 million estimated annually to rebate the 10% provincial HST on the new construction of purpose-built, multi-unit apartments
  • $27.1 million for NSCC student housing projects at various stages of development (Capital Plan)
  • $14.8 million this year for Nova Scotia projects to leverage funding from the National Housing Strategy 2022-25 Action Plan
  • $5 million to expand the $28.6 million Affordable Housing Development Program to include student housing project proposals
  • $3.6 million for a rapid housing initiative to develop new affordable housing units in Halifax
  • $35.3 million to build new public housing units and for more repairs and maintenance to existing public housing (Capital Plan)
  • $11.8 million for a new investment in modular public housing (Capital Plan)

In Closing

The Houston government remains popular with Nova Scotians, two and a half years into their mandate.  Narrative Research released polling earlier this week indicating the following: “The PCs continue to lead in terms of decided voter intentions, with results stable compared with three months ago. One-half of decided voters (49%, compared with 52% in November 2023) would vote for the PCs if an election were held today. One-quarter would vote for the Liberals (25%, compared with 21%), while one-fifth would vote for the NDP (20%, compared with 22%).  Few decided voters would support the Green Party (5%, compared with 3%). Support for the PCs is elevated in mainland NS outside Halifax compared with the rest of the province.” (Source: NS: The PCs maintain their lead in terms of voter support. – Narrative Research)

A full overview of budget commitments can be found here:
Budget 2024 to 2025 – Government of Nova Scotia, Canada

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