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British Columbia budget

British Columbia: Budget 2024 - Spending Increased Again, but Fiscal Advantages Largely Intact

February 22, 2024
Marc Desormeaux, Principal Economist • Kari Norman, Economist

British Columbia’s (BC) fiscal year 2024–25 (FY2025) budget increased spending and deficit projections again, with shortfalls expected through FY2027.

Still, BC’s fiscal advantages remain largely intact. Its net debt burden and debt service-to-revenue ratios, although rising, are expected to be among the smallest of the provinces while its fiscal buffers remain significant.

Spending increases were concentrated in the healthcare sector. The province will also offer incremental new affordability relief via targeted transfers to lower- and middle-income households, tax reductions for small businesses, and expanded property transfer tax exemptions for first-time homeowners.

Gross borrowing requirements are now expected to total $24.2B in FY2025, $29.5B in FY2026, and $28.4B in FY2027, reflecting increases to capital spending plans following project delays and larger deficits. Relative to the last outer-year borrowing projections, FY2025 and FY2026 figures represent boosts of $2.7B and $8B, respectively.

NOTE TO READERS: The letters k, M and B are used in texts, graphs and tables to refer to thousands, millions and billions respectively. IMPORTANT: This document is based on public information and may under no circumstances be used or construed as a commitment by Desjardins Group. While the information provided has been determined on the basis of data obtained from sources that are deemed to be reliable, Desjardins Group in no way warrants that the information is accurate or complete. The document is provided solely for information purposes and does not constitute an offer or solicitation for purchase or sale. Desjardins Group takes no responsibility for the consequences of any decision whatsoever made on the basis of the data contained herein and does not hereby undertake to provide any advice, notably in the area of investment services. Data on prices and margins is provided for information purposes and may be modified at any time based on such factors as market conditions. The past performances and projections expressed herein are no guarantee of future performance. Unless otherwise indicated, the opinions and forecasts contained herein are those of the document’s authors and do not represent the opinions of any other person or the official position of Desjardins Group.