Budget presents plan to support and improve the lives of Islanders
Today, Premier Dennis King and Finance Minister Jill Burridge presented government’s 2023-24 operating budget to the Legislative Assembly, outlining a record $3 billion in investments for Prince Edward Island.
“The province is changing. It’s time to be creative and rethink how we do things. Our investments presented today reflect that. We know Islanders have had a tough go these past four years. Every decision about these investments was made to improve quality of life for Islanders now and for future generations. This budget outlines a new plan for a stronger today and a better tomorrow.”
- Premier Dennis King
The budget includes increased investments in healthcare and housing; while also providing funding to make life more affordable, protect our environment, and grow the workforce and economy. With revenues forecasted at $2.99 billion and planned spending of $3.09 billion, the province is expecting a deficit of approximately $97.6 million.
“What I want Islanders to know is that we heard you,” said Minister of Finance Jill Burridge. “Our plan was made from everything we heard you say at the doors, in consultations and in communities. We are working to ensure you get the support you need.”
Highlights of the budget include:
- $21.9 million to establish the Faculty of Medicine at the UPEI Medical School;
- $10 million to introduce $5 copays for over 150 medications and add new drugs to the provincial formulary;
- $8.9 million to add 100 frontline positions and establish new medical homes;
- $3.2 million for mental health supports;
- $3 million for Islanders to be treated for common ailments at pharmacies.
- $50 million to further invest in the Housing Challenge Fund;
- $25 million to create an Infrastructure Fund to develop construction-ready lots;
- $1.1 million for programs that support pathways to home ownership;
- $1 million to create tiny home communities;
- $250,000 to expand the PEI Home Renovation Program.
- $20.1 million for further investments in heat pump, hot water heater and insulation programs;
- $14 million to increase the basic personal amount and introduce other tax system changes;
- $6 million to continue freezing property taxes for the 2023 tax year;
- $4 million to expedite the reduction of childcare fees;
- $950,000 to continue investments in Island-wide transit and keep fares low.
- $18 million to continue investing in the bioscience sector to establish the BioAccelerator and develop the clean tech sector;
- $2 million to retrofit workplaces for workers with disabilities;
- $825,000 to grow the Island into a four-season destination and create new tourism products in rural areas;
- $750,000 to support and grow the arts and culture community, and promote Charlottetown as a Music City;
- $350,000 to support diversification of crops to prepare for climate change and explore controlled-environment and indoor farming.
- $6 million to add 100 new positions to the education system;
- $5.2 million to launch the Primary Caregiver Grant;
- $4.2 million to provide grants to Early Learning Centres to expand and create more spaces;
- $2.2 million in supports for seniors;
- $2.19 million to increase funding for the School Food and Breakfast Program;
- $1.25 million to increase the George Coles Bursary.
- $1.5 million to invest in the Newcomer Work Ready Project;
- $800,000 to support victims of family violence;
- $640,000 to restore the trees lost from Hurricane Fiona and increase nursery tree production;
- $550,000 to ensure provincial wildland firefighters have training, equipment and resources to respond to and mitigate wildfires;
- $460,000 to implement the Anti-Racism Action Plan;
- $250,000 to establish a Community Legal Clinic to increase access to justice supports, including legal representation.
“Accountability is important to me, and I know Islanders expect it from us too,” said Minister of Finance Jill Burridge. “They can count on this government to ensure these investments will be put into action to improve the lives of Islanders now, and in the future.”
Department of Finance