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Nova Scotia registers $341.6 million deficit for last year driven by COVID 19 costs

The Nova Scotia flag is seen. File/Global News

Nova Scotia has closed the books on the 2020-21 fiscal year, registering a pandemic-driven deficit of $341.6 million.

The figure represents a $396.6-million drop from the $55-million surplus forecast in the budget tabled in February 2020, just before COVID-19 hit.

Finance Minister Allan MacMaster says the province responded to the pandemic with close to $940 million in operating and capital spending during the fiscal year that ended March 31, helped by $462.2 million in federal aid.

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MacMaster says total expenses increased by nearly $219 million to $12.63 billion because of increased support for health-care services during the pandemic and to support various sectors of the economy.

As well, total revenues were down by $178 million because of lower tax revenue and federal transfer payments.

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The province’s net debt is now $16.4 billion.

Click to play video: 'N.S. budget breaks string of four previous balanced budgets'
N.S. budget breaks string of four previous balanced budgets

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 16, 2021.

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