As promised, our government is fixing Manitoba’s finances
Our government is making strong progress in fixing the province’s finances, and the Office of the Auditor General has now reaffirmed our responsible approach to fiscal management and prudent budgeting.
In a new report on public accounts, the Auditor General’s office confirms our government’s position that there are risks associated with consecutive deficits and increasing debt. The report also reflects the effective measures we are taking to respond to the massive deficits and debt that were left behind by the previous NDP administration following its 17 years of mismanagement and out-of-control spending.
The Auditor General’s analysis shows the NDP mismanaged the province’s finances, resulting in eight consecutive deficits. In most of those years, the actual deficit significantly exceeded the budgeted deficit. Manitoba’s deficit was projected to climb to $1.7 billion by 2019 if left unaddressed. Meanwhile, the provincial debt under the NDP doubled to $22 billion in just eight years.
After forming government more than two years ago, we have continued to hit and even outperform our budget targets. The Auditor General has noted that under our Progressive Conservative government in 2016-17, the actual deficit was lower than the budgeted deficit. In a measured way, we have now reduced the projected 2017-18 deficit to $726 million, which is $114 million lower than budgeted. And we are projecting a $521-million deficit for 2018-19.
The report from the Auditor General is only the latest independent acknowledgment that our government is on the right path. Global credit rating agency DBRS Ltd. recently endorsed our approach to decreasing the deficit by $105 million to $140 million per year in what it calls a “responsible fashion without jeopardizing service delivery.” As well, credit rating agency S&P Global Ratings has stated that our government “has made meaningful progress toward its goal” to balance the budget during our second term.
The Auditor General further acknowledges that our focus on
summary accounting, in using a single budgeting and reporting
framework for the whole of government, improves transparency
and helps ensure public services are consistently and properly
The previous government regularly missed its financial targets
and overspent its budgets, though our government has hit our
budget targets and reduced the deficit for two straight fiscal
years. We are making real progress for Manitobans with better
fiscal practices that are putting our province on a path to
sustainability. This is essential to protecting the services that
Manitobans value and rely on.
Greg Nesbitt is the Member of Legislative Assembly for the Riding Mountain constituency. He can be reached at 204-759-3313, toll-free 1-844-877-7767 or by email at