Budget 2021 is about protecting Manitobans and their services through COVID-19 and advancing Manitoba and the economy past the pandemic.
Key Economic Forecasts: Deficit of $1.6B; GDP forecast to grow 4.1%; Unemployment rate at 6.9%.
- A key initiative is the $1.2B in funding for COVID-19 costs and contingency funding—aimed primarily at health care investments and school supports.
- Additional tax and fee relief, including: no sales tax on some personal services, reduced vehicle registration fees, and education property tax rebate of 50%. The Manitoba Budget reported on the success of supports provided to the Agri-Product processing facilities – listing several investments made in 2020.
- Advancing jobs and growth by allowing for rate increases: raising payroll tax exemption; increasing the Small Business Venture Tax Credit; Extending Cultural Industries Print Credit, Community Enterprise Tax Credit and making Book Publishing Tax Credit permanent. And significant funding will be allocated to job creation and workforce training ($62M) and youth and student hiring ($25M). $40M for the Manitoba Restart Capital initiatives aimed at municipal capital projects.
- Infrastructure funding of $2.1B, including highway and road construction, health facilities infrastructure, and education infrastructure investments.
- Environmental funding will include protection efforts to divert organic waste from landfills, reduce emissions, and to create green jobs. Funding has been promised to Conservation and Climate Fund ($1M) and to improve water treatment in Northern Manitoba ($4M) as well as $5.6M for the Building Sustainable Communities Program.
- Additional measures include $680M for post-secondary institutions and $4M to the Manitoba Bursary Fund for student assistance.