Budget 2021-22 shows province’s path to recovery
Today, Premier Dennis King and Finance Minister Darlene Compton delivered government’s 2020-21 operating budget that outlines $2.5 billion in spending for programs to assist Islanders, businesses, and industry recover from COVID-19, while optimistically turning an eye to the future.
“With the finish line in sight for COVID-19, our government is committed to supporting the road to recovery for all Islanders while continuing to invest in critical areas such as health care, education, early learning, and our environment. The bold investments our government is making over the next year creates a pathway to improve the lives of all Islanders.”
- Premier Dennis King
This budget shows government’s plan to provide support to people most in need while also investing in the recovery of the province’s economy, job market and some of the hard-hit sectors and industries. With revenues forecasted at $2.4 billion and planned spending of $2.5 billion, the province is expecting a deficit of approximately $112 million.
Prince Edward Island is in a good position to rebound from the impacts of COVID-19 at a much faster pace than many other provinces, as the Island continues to experience growth in certain sectors of the economy, supported by an increase in our population that once again led the country in 2020.
Highlights of the budget include:
Investments in a healthier Island
- $4.4 million to revitalize primary care;
- $3 million for the development of the PEI Centre for Mental Well-Being; and
- $1.5 million for a free shingles vaccine for Islanders aged 65 and older, which will be the most comprehensive program in the country.
Commitment to children and families
- $2.9 million to implement a universal half-day Pre-Kindergarten Program;
- $625,000 to reduce childcare rates to $25 per day starting in January 2022; and
- $4 million for 80 new front-line positions in our schools, including teachers, autism consultants, educational assistants, and bus drivers.
Investing in clean technology and our environment
- $5.6 million to support and expand the heat pump rebate program through efficiencyPEI;
- $500,000 to establish an electric vehicle rebate program; and
- $250,000 for a rural transit system pilot program beginning fall 2021.
Creating a robust and inclusive economy
- $4.6 million to fund additional tax reductions, including increasing the basic personal amount to $11,250 and the low-income reduction threshold to $20,000;
- reduce the small business tax rate to 1 per cent and position Prince Edward Island at the lowest rate in Atlantic Canada;
- establish a $1 million micro-loan program to assist Indigenous women, youth, BIPOC, and 2SLBGTQIA+ entrepreneurs to start new businesses.
“It is due to sacrifices that Islanders have made that has allowed us to be in this fortunate position,” said Minister of Finance Darlene Compton. “The spending outlined in this budget will continue to assist Islanders and our industry while preparing for the future after COVID-19.”
“While we will have a deficit this year, the spending is needed as we continue to support the people of our province. I am confident that through the persistence and determination of Islanders, and through continued careful planning, we will get back on a path to a balanced budget,” Minister Compton said.
Department of Finance