Nova Scotia's auditor general questions province's fiscal sustainability
Michael Pickup says the five-year trend in six sustainability indicators is 'unfavourable'
Nova Scotia's auditor general appears worried about where the province is heading in terms of fiscal sustainability.
In his latest report, Michael Pickup notes the five-year trend is "unfavourable" when it comes to six key sustainability indicators:
- net long-term debt
- net debt
- net debt per capita
- net debt as a percentage of total revenue
- annual surplus or deficit
- net debt as a percentage of provincial GDP
The report states sustainability "measures the ability of a government to maintain its existing programs and services."
The province gets a rating of "stable" in two other fiscal categories: debt servicing costs as a percentage of total revenue and federal government transfers as a percentage of total revenues.
Overall, the provincial government owes $15,944 for every Nova Scotian.
That's an increase of $2,436 per person from four years ago when the per capita debt was $13,508.
The report offers no comment on the growing debt load, other than to state the obvious.
"The indicator shows that the Government of Nova Scotia owes $15,944 for each Nova Scotian for past decisions that resulted in spending exceeding revenues."