The Ford government spent $5.6 billion less that expected in the last fiscal year ending this past March, according to figures laid out in the The 2020-21 Public Accounts.
The government says this is because the third wave of COVID-19 “peaked later then anticipated.”
Government officials say a large number of hospitals ended the year with surplus money while in the education sector, the government spent $900 million less than what it said it would in the 2020 budget.
Government spending has been in the spotlight ever since the financial accountability office recently reported that the province did not spend any of the $2.7 billion COVID-19 Response transfer payment in the last fiscal quarter (April to June 2021).
Still, total program expenses in 2020-21 were $169 billion — a $16.7 billion increase compared to 2019-20. The government calls it the “single largest year-over-year dollar increase in program spending on record.”
The Public Accounts reports a 2020-21 deficit of $16.4 billion — $22.1 billion lower than the 2020 Budget projection. This variance, the government says was driven in part by “higher-than-anticipated corporations and personal income tax revenues, which is unprecedented compared to other major downturns.”
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