Classrooms, Care and Communities - Saskatchewan's 2024 Budget

Tyler Willox

On March 20, 2024, the Saskatchewan Provincial Budget for 2024/25, named "Classrooms, Care and Communities," was unveiled, projecting a deficit of $273.2 million. This budget included record spending and funding increases nearly across the board that includes the largest-ever increase in school operating funding, health funding, and municipal revenue sharing with no new taxes or tax increases.

Notably, this is the final budget presented by the Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance Donna Harpauer, who announced her decision not to seek re-election in the upcoming fall election, concluding a tenure as the longest-serving female cabinet minister in Canada.

Here are the fiscal highlights of the 2024 Budget:

  • Deficit Projection: A deficit of $273.2 million is forecasted, with a return to surplus anticipated in 2025-26, driven by increasing revenues from population, labor force, and economic growth.
  • Revenue: The budget anticipates $19.9 billion in revenue for 2024-25, up $184.2 million from the previous year, primarily attributed to growth across revenue categories, except for non-renewable resources, impacted by moderated potash prices.
  • Expenses: Projected expenses amount to $20.1 billion, representing a $1.5 billion increase over the previous year, a rise of 7.9%.
  • Provincial Debt: Gross provincial debt is budgeted to remain at $30.8 billion for 2024.

The Government of Saskatchewan’s 2024-25 budget introduces key initiatives and focus areas heading into an election including:

  • Taxes: Government of Saskatchewan highlights that Saskatchewan is one of the most affordable places to live in the country, maintained the small business tax rate at 1%, and emphasized that with SaskEnergy and SaskPower no longer collecting the carbon tax on natural gas or electric home heating that families will save an average of $400 a year. 
  • Investment Attraction: There are various new, extended, and expanded incentives across Critical Minerals, Energy, Innovation, and technology that are intended to attract additional investment for Growth, leveraging Saskatchewan’s natural advantages of Food, Fuel, and Fertilizer. 
  • Healthcare: The budget includes a focus on increasing the capacity of the acute care system. Including targeted dollars for Saskatoon and Regina Capacity Pressure Action Plans, monies to continue to reduce the surgical waitlist (targeting a three month wait time), and investments in the Health human Resources Action Plan to hire, train, and retain more health care professionals. 

Saskatchewan’s economy is set to grow in 2024 as the Province has many of the resources the world needs. Upstream Strategy Group is here to help and provide additional insights on how you can partner with the Government of Saskatchewan.