Manitoba’s Budget 2009 is balanced, keeping the province deficit free with a $48-million summary financial surplus that includes core government departments, Crown corporations and pension obligations.
Manitoba's Fiscal Stabilization Account will stand at $634 million in 2009/10, up from $226 million in 1999 and allowing for a $110-million investment in vital services.
The budget also invests in education, training and skills development. These investments include:
- a six per cent increase in base operating grants and strategic programming for universities and colleges;
- a 5.25 per cent increase or $53 million for public schools, the largest-ever investment in public school funding;
- more training seats for apprentices and a new bursary fund for prospective apprentices;
- new tax credits for employers who provide apprenticeship placements;
- doubling the available scholarships for Aboriginal medical students and expanding nurse training across the province.
Budget 2009 recognizes that research and innovation generates new business opportunities, creates jobs, supports immigration and builds the economy. The newly formed Manitoba Innovation Council will advise government on expanding business and innovation opportunities. Additional investment in research and development (R & D) programs and enhancement of the R & D Tax Credit will further support important research and innovation in Manitoba.
In addition, $1.6 billion will be provided for infrastructure in key areas such as housing, public schools, hospitals, highways and bridges, universities and colleges, and water and waste-water treatment plants to help address the infrastructure gap and stimulate the economy. Support continues for CentrePort Canada, Manitoba's 20,000-acre inland port.
Personal, corporate and small business tax cuts planned for 2009 will continue, helping to maintain the purchasing power of families and the financial strength of business. These tax cuts include:
- eliminating the small business tax in 2010, becoming the first province in Canada to permanently remove this tax, which stood at eight per cent in 1999;
- reducing the general corporation income tax rate to 12 per cent from 13 per cent in 2009, a decrease from 17 per cent in 1999;
- reducing the mining tax to 10, 15 and 17 per cent from 18 per cent, depending on taxable income; and
- following through on 2009 personal income tax reductions.
A new set of measures will help businesses deal with tighter credit and capital markets including:
- tripling the value of loans available through the Manitoba Industrial Opportunities Program to help businesses expand or upgrade their operations;
- doubling the Community Enterprise Investment Tax Credit to provide $17 million more in investment capital for small- and medium-sized companies; and
- continuing the phase-out of the general corporation capital tax, eliminated in late 2010.
The government is now fully paying the employer's current service contributions for all civil servants and teachers - the first government to do so since April 1, 1961.
For more highlights from the Manitoba budget, visit www.gov.mb.ca/finance/budget09/index.html.