Vous êtes ici : HomeExpenditure BudgetArchives2008-2009 Expenditure BudgetResponding to the priorities of Quebecers while maintaining sound and responsible management

Responding to the priorities of Quebecers while maintaining sound and responsible management

Quebec City, March 13, 2008 – “The Expenditure Budget that I am tabling today bears witness to disciplined and responsible financial management. As we have done since 2003-2004, we are keeping strict control over expenditures. But at the same time we are responding to the priorities of Quebecers, namely health, education and family,” said Monique Jérôme-Forget, Minister of Finance, Minister of Government Services, Minister responsible for Government Administration and Chair of the Conseil du Trésor, as she tabled the 2008-2009 Expenditure Budget.

Priority to Health, Education and Family

As it has done every year since 2003, the Government is giving priority to health, education and family. These three sectors alone receive more than 88% of the total program increases in 2008-2009, amounting to over $2 billion.

$1.3 Billion More on Health

The Health and Social Services budget increases by over $1.3 billion, a 5.5% increase bringing this portfolio’s budget to $25.5 billion. The government is making good on its commitment to fund network system costs and additional services to account for population aging and the special needs of seniors. This Expenditure Budget thus provides for an annual amount of $80 million as of 2008-2009 for seniors with diminished autonomy.

$612.4 Million More on Education

The budget for Education, Recreation and Sport rises by $612.4 million, a 4.6% increase. This sharp increase, one of the biggest in the past fifteen years for this portfolio, will contribute to maintaining reinvestments in this area to increase higher education budgets by $1 billion per year up to 2011-2012. This includes an additional $453 million for universities and colleges, $53 million more than the government’s commitment for 2008-2009.

$100.9 Million More on Family

Also, an additional $100.9 million is earmarked for the Family and Seniors program, a 5.5% increase. The Expenditure Budget will thereby allow the continued implementation of our commitment of providing 20,000 new reduced-contribution childcare spaces, adding 4,500 new spaces in 2008-2009.

Maintaining Tight Control on Spending

Québec’s performance in controlling spending has topped the other provinces since 2003-2004. The average expenditure growth in the other Canadian provinces was 6.8% between 2003-2004 and 2007-2008. In a recent study the C.D. Howe Institute pointed out that Québec had the lowest gap between spending forecasts and reality in Canada in the past ten years, particularly since 2003-2004.

In 2008-2009 the government will continue to exert tight control over program spending, limiting its growth to 4.2%. Such a growth rate represents a $2.3-billion increase, which will bring program spending up to $56.9 billion. This will bring the weight of spending relative to the economy to 18.4% in 2008-2009, one of the lowest rates in 35 years.

A Balanced Approach

“The government is not scattering its resources. On one hand, we must respond to the needs of the people, which is what we are doing by investing in our health, education and family priorities. On the other hand, we must continue controlling spending growth and invest in our public infrastructure so that we can leave a sound legacy to Quebecers in the future. This 2008-2009 Expenditure Budget focuses on striking a balance between sound expenditure management and making investments responding to needs,” concluded the Chair of the Conseil du trésor.