REGINA â€” The Saskatchewan government tabled a budget Wednesday which forecasts a $685-million deficit this year and includes a plan to balance the books in three years. Here are the highlights:
â€” Provincial sales tax increases to six per cent from five per cent.
â€” Tobacco and alcohol taxes going up.
â€” Operational funding for all post-secondary institutions cut by five per cent.
â€” Income and corporate tax cuts to be phased in.
â€” Saskatchewan Transportation Company which provides bus service in the province, including to remote areas, will be shut down.
â€” Funding for hearing aids and funeral services for low-income residents being cut.
â€” Emergency departments in Regina and Saskatoon to get a $12-million boost to address wait times.
â€” Funding for libraries in Regina and Saskatoon eliminated; funding for seven regional library systems cut in half.
â€” $750,000 to expand HPV vaccination program to boys.
â€” $1.4 million and 13 full-time positions added to boost oversight of oil and gas industry.
â€” Long-term care fees increase for about 50 per cent of residents â€”about 8,500 people.
The Canadian Press