Budget 2022-23 outlines investments in Islanders now and for the future
Today, Premier Dennis King and Finance Minister Darlene Compton delivered government’s 2022-23 operating budget that outlines $2.7 billion in spending to assist Islanders as PEI moves forward and transitions to growth and recovery.
“The past 23 months have been incredibly difficult for all Islanders, but as we move through our transition plan and as restrictions lift, our province is in a great position to turn our focus to economic growth and recovery. This budget makes innovative investments in critical areas such as healthcare, seniors, youth, climate action, and ensuring that our communities are safe, diverse and inclusive.”
- Premier Dennis King.
Budget 2022-2023 shows government’s plan to provide support to Islanders through investments in the province’s youth, economy, and senior population, while also addressing the need to grow the healthcare system, and take action to mitigate climate change. With revenues forecasted at $2.6 billion and planned spending of $2.7 billion, the province is expecting a deficit of approximately $92 million.
Highlights of the budget include:
Investing in our Youth
- $27.2 million in early learning to expand spaces, increase wages, and build on a robust childcare system;
- $945,000 for increases in Island bursaries including a $400 increase per student in the George Coles Bursary and $250 increase per student in the Student Community Bursary;
- $787,000 for free school supplies for all students grades K-9 in the public school system;
- $200,000 for KidSport funding to provide $600 to every child in a home with a household income under $60,000;
- Free Island wide transit for anyone under the age of 18; and
- $945,000 to increase the George Coles Bursary by $400 for Island post-secondary students to bring support to $2,600 or, in some cases $3,400 and increasing the Community Service Community Bursary award to $1,000.
Growing Inclusive Communities and Economies
- $1.5 million to increase the number of rental supports for seniors and families, and support the construction of new affordable units;
- $850,000 to develop new tourism marketing campaigns and investments to provincial parks to ensure a quick recovery over the next 12 months; and
- $500,000 for a new Diversity and Inclusion Growth Program to enhance opportunities for inclusion integration within Island organizations and communities.
Improving our Health
- $8.7 million will support increased specialized capacity within hospitals by adding physicians across multiple specialties and related supports;
- $1.4 million will enhance health recruitment initiatives and an RN Stabilization Strategy that will support a centrally-managed float pool of approximately 25 RNs for the most urgent needs and filling short term vacancies; and
- $2.7 million towards an annualized investment to add more physicians, NPs, RNs, LPNs, dieticians, social workers and support staff to work collaboratively at Medical Homes across the province.
Supporting our Seniors and Vulnerable Populations
- $1.2 million to increase funding for Home Care Services to ensure seniors get the right level of care in the right location while giving respite to support caregivers;
- $250,000 in new funding to launch a Seniors Food Security pilot program to continue providing reheatable meals for aging Islanders experiencing food insecurity;
- $3.2 million to support homeowner assistance programs including the PEI Home Renovation, Seniors Home Repair, Seniors Safe at Home, and the Renovation Program for Persons with Disabilities; and
- $4.1 Million to provide free shingles vaccine for Islanders aged 65 years and over at community pharmacies across Prince Edward Island.
A Sustainable Future
- $5.6 million will continue to support the plan for clean and affordable energy to expand the free heat pump program by increasing the household income threshold;
- $1.5 million for investments to support increased transit routes across the Island and make all current transit routes free for anyone under the age of 18; and
- $2.1 million in new funding for the province’s electric vehicle rebate that encourages Island residents to transition to clean transportation including e-bikes, electric vehicles and hybrids.
“This budget lays out a plan to invest in all Islanders from the early stages of life through to our senior population and looks to the future through funding initiatives in innovative sectors and addressing climate change,” said Minister of Finance Darlene Compton. “We know that we are not yet through our battle with COVID-19 and we want all Islanders to know that we will continue to be here to support those in need as we navigate and live more normally with COVID-19.”
Department of Finance