Release of 2024 Quebec Budget

Quebec Finance Minister Eric Girard tabled his sixth budget today, with big spending increases for health and education. In his speech presenting the budget, Finance Minister Eric Girard said, ” Social services play an essential role in the protection and well-being of individuals, particularly the most vulnerable. In recent years, significant investments have been made to strengthen the support offered to the most vulnerable Quebecers and enhance mental health and social services. We have in particular: increased support for community organizations working in the field of health and social services, increased mental health, homelessness, and addiction services, and strengthened services for young people in difficulty.

We are seeing progress, but we will not stop there. Today I am announcing $738 million over five years that will help us consolidate services to meet the growing needs in services related to youth protection, by increasing accommodation capacity and strengthening mental health and social services to support people in crisis.”

Other highlights of the 2024 Budget include:

  • $581 million for enhanced home support services, $121.8 million to increase the supply of private seniors’ residences, $253.5 million to support the deployment of seniors’ homes and alternative housing, and $182 million to continue contracting of residential and long-term care centers.
  • A deficit of $11 billion, which includes a $1.5-billion contingency reserve and a $2.2 billion payment into a fund dedicated to reducing debt.
  • Revenues of $150.3 billion, an increase of 2.4 percent; expenditures of $157.6 billion, an increase of 4.4 percent.
  • Economic growth — real GDP, adjusted for inflation — is expected to rise by 0.6 percent in 2024 and by 1.6 percent in 2025.
  • Balanced budget no later than 2029-30 fiscal year, but no precise timeline for getting there until next year’s budget.
  • The two largest expenditures are health care at $61.9 billion, up 4.2 percent, and education at $22.4 billion, up 9.3 percent.
  • Plan to find $2.9 billion in savings over five years by abolishing or reforming certain business tax credits; by asking provincially owned companies — including the hydro utility and the liquor board — to reduce expenses; and by investing in programs to increase tax collection and fight economic crime.
  • Phasing out rebates for the purchase of electric and hybrid vehicles beginning next year, with complete elimination as of January 2027.
  • A tax increase on tobacco products of two dollars per carton of 200 cigarettes, effective Wednesday, with another identical increase on Jan. 6, 2025.
  • Federal transfers will be $29.4 billion, down 6 percent, largely due to last fiscal year’s one-time health transfer and by changes to the federal equalization formula.
  • Net debt will be $221.1 billion on March 31, 2024, or 39 percent of GDP, the second-largest as a percentage of GDP among provinces, behind only Newfoundland and Labrador.
  • Interest payments on debt will be $9.8 billion, an increase of 1.2 percent.

See the new budget for yourself on the government’s website:

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