Highlights of Quebec's 2020-21 budget | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Highlights of Quebec's 2020-21 budget

Quebec Finance Minister Eric Girard, centre, bursts out into laughter as members of the government gather around before his budget speech, Tuesday, March 10, 2020 at the Quebec legislature. From the left, MNA Marilyne Picard, Quebec Health Minister Danielle McCann, Eric Girard, Quebec Minister Responsible for Seniors and Informal Caregivers Marguerite Blais and Quebec junior Health Minister Lionel Carmant. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot
March 10, 2020 - 1:10 PM

QUEBEC - Finance Minister Eric Girard tabled the Coalition Avenir Quebec government's budget on Tuesday. Here are some highlights:

— Balanced books for the sixth straight year in Quebec, with a forecast surplus of $2.7 billion on total revenue of $121.3 billion, including $25.7 billion in federal transfers. The surplus will go into a fund aimed at lowering the province's debt.

— Estimated gross debt of $197.7 billion as of March 31, 2020. That represents 43.0 per cent of gross domestic product, continuing a downward trend from a peak of 54.3 per cent six years ago.

— Expected economic growth of 2.0 per cent in 2020 and 1.5 per cent in 2021, down from 2.8 per cent in 2019.

— Increase in overall spending of 5.1 per cent, with health and social services (up 5.3 per cent) and education (up 4.5 per cent) accounting for two-thirds of the increase.

— An enhanced plan aimed at reducing Quebec's greenhouse gas emissions by 37.5 per cent from their 1990 level by 2030, combining $6.2 billion from investments in transportation and other sectors with money from a cap-and-trade system to reduce industrial emissions.

— Increased investment of $15.1 billion in the provincial infrastructure plan, bringing the total for the 10-year plan to $130.5 billion for projects including schools, roads, public transit and seniors' residences.

— An additional $457 million over six years to promote Quebec's cultural distinctiveness, including money for French-language television, film and music as well as for beefed-up resources to enforce Quebec's language law.

—A new tax credit representing $526 million over five years to encourage businesses to modernize manufacturing and processing equipment and to invest in computer hardware and management software.

— Continued reduction in school taxes with the goal of reaching a single rate across the province, based on the lowest current rate. The cost to the province is set at $181.9 million in 2020-21.

— Funding toward universal, non-compulsory pre-kindergarten for four-year-olds, with an additional 350 classes added as of September 2020 to bring the total to 1,010.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2020
The Canadian Press

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