Couillard government set to deliver final budget

Quebec's government will deliver its fifth and final budget before next fall's election on March 27, Radio-Canada has confirmed.

Government already hinted at tax breaks for small- and medium-sized buisnesses

It will be the fifth and final budget for Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard's government under its current mandate. A provincial election must be held no later than October. (Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press)

Quebec will deliver its provincial budget on March 27. 

It will be the fifth and final budget for Premier Philippe Couillard's government under its current mandate. A provincial election must be held no later than October. 

After consecutive years of fiscal fat-trimming that drew the ire of public sector workers and unions, the Liberal government slowly brought the province back in the black and started to open the spending taps again in key sectors like health and education in 2016.

In fact, a surplus realised last year, spurred on by a healthy economy and guarded spending, left the government with cash to spare. At the November fiscal update, Finance Minister Carlos Leitão announced new annual tax relief measures for individuals and families.

But don't expect any more incentives coming this budget. 

In January, Couillard said he doesn't plan on reducing personal taxes further because the province has already made efforts to cut them.

The government has hinted that it will offer some tax relief to small- and medium-sized businesses.

Couillard said his administration will be "cautious'' while maintaining fiscal and financial responsibility. It will also work to continue paying down the province's debt, which stood at  51.9 per cent of the GDP in March 2017. 

The government has committed to reducing the gross debt to 45 per cent of GDP by 2026. 

With files from Radio-Canada