Vous êtes ici : HomeExpenditure BudgetArchives2003-2004 Expenditure BudgetRegistered June 13, 2003A government refocused on its essential missions: priority to healthcare and education

A government refocused on its essential missions: priority to healthcare and education

Québec City, Friday, June 13, 2003 - "The 2003-2004 Expenditure Budget was drafted with the intent of maintaining a balanced budget while reducing the growth of spending and mitigating risks. It opens the way to review the government’s role and lays the foundations of a new model of government for Québec: a less prodigal government that has regained its sense of priorities and that does not hesitate to make difficult choices to better serve the public. Our government’s approach is rigorous without being rigid." This was the message delivered by Ms. Monique Jérôme-Forget, Chair of the Conseil du trésor, Minister responsible for Government Administration and Minister responsible for the Montréal Region, upon tabling of the 2003-2004 Expenditure Budget.

The 2003-2004 Expenditure Budget pursues three objectives:

  • Resolve the $4.3 billion budget impasse.
  • Stabilize spending while refocusing government on its essential missions of healthcare and education.
  • Establish conditions conducive to reengineering the Government of Québec.

The Chair of the Conseil du trésor pointed out: "Given the $4.3 billion impasse revealed by the Breton Report, we had to act quickly to resolve this impasse and draft a budget that would stabilize government spending. We rigorously reviewed all the government’s expenditures. We concluded that the previous government had lost both its sense of priorities and control over budget commitments."

Growth of program spending reduced from 5.6% to 3.8%

In the Minister’s view, expenditures had to be reduced. The forecast objective for program spending was thus reduced by nearly $800 million. The 2003-2004 Expenditure Budget amounts to $52.7 billion, including $45.8 billion for program spending and $6.9 billion for debt service. The cost of debt service is 5% greater than in the previous fiscal year. This is a consequence of the growth in borrowing by the previous government, the Minister pointed out, noting that action must be taken to reverse this "worrysome" trend.

A Government refocused on its essential missions

"This expenditure budget," Ms. Jérôme-Forget pointed out, "is an accurate reflection of our government’s priorities. It is in keeping with our commitment to refocus government on its essential missions and make health and education our priorities." In fact, all budget growth is allocated to the Health and Social Services sector, up 7.2%, and the Education sector, up 3.6%. The expenditures of other portfolios remain stable, on average, in relation to the previous fiscal year.

The Chair of the Conseil du trésor concluded: "This expenditure budget lays the first milestones of a major revamping of the government’s finances, helping it achieve its action plan in the upcoming years. My colleagues and I shall soon initiate a major reengineering of government operations. This will allow us to go even further and fulfill the commitments for which we were elected to undertake. Sometimes, the necessary choices must be made in order to ensure quality public services that the public has the right to expect".

- 30 -