On Monday, March 12, 2018, the Province of Manitoba released Budget 2018, it’s spending plans for the 2018/19 fiscal year. CCEDNet – Manitoba has conducted a review of the budget in respects to our membership policy priorities.
Overall, the budget does not include any drastic spending changes for our member’s priorities but also doesn’t show investment or prioritization of our interests. There are small increases in priority areas, as well as decreases. The following analysis breaks down Budget 2018 by our member-led priority areas. CCEDNet – Manitoba looks forward to continue advocating our members’ policy priorities and working with the Government of Manitoba for more inclusive and sustainable communities and economies.
- Consultations for the new Provincial Poverty Reduction Strategy are ongoing. Budget 2018 states the strategy is being developed and does not provide a timeline for completion.
- Budget 2018 is clear that a $25/tonne carbon levy is coming into place (projected to net approximately $260 M per year), however does not set a clear plan for recycling these revenues into GHG-reduction initiatives besides a one-time, $102 investment in an endowment fund for natural infrastructure.
- Funding for Neighbourhoods Alive! has been maintained at $5.08 M (a slight funding decrease when factoring inflation).
- Funding for Community Places has increased by 11%, from $5.17 M in 2017/18 to $5.74 M in 2018/19.
- Effective March 12, 2018 (budget day), cooperatives are once again eligible to use the CED Tax Credit.
- Budget 2018 maintains funding for the Northern Healthy Foods Initiative at $1.25 M.
- Budget 2018 announced $3.3 M for new and newly funded childcare spaces, estimated to be 700 spaces, as well as $4.8 M in new funding for the Inclusion Support Program. Much of these increases can be attributed to the recently announced Canada-Manitoba Early Learning & Child Care Agreement.
- Manitoba Housing & Renewal Corporation’s funding was increased by 8.3%, to $115.96 M from $107.05. This increase will be offset by a cut of $20 M to capital borrowing. No increases to the supply of affordable and social housing are planned.
More details about the 2018 Budget’s impact in the following areas can be found below
Energy and Sustainability
Justice and Community Safety
Food Security and Sovereignty in Northern Manitoba
Social Innovation and Social Impact Bonds
CCEDNet – Manitoba’s membership and our partner organizations have called upon the Province to release a new comprehensive poverty reduction strategy, with targets and timelines for implementation.
Consultations for the new Provincial Poverty Reduction Strategy are ongoing. Budget 2018 states the strategy is being developed and does not provide a timeline for completion.
Spending on Employment, Income Assistance and Rental Assistance is budgeted to decrease from $523 M to $511 M. CCEDNet – Manitoba has been advised that this is not to be seen as a cut, but an expected reduction in demand for the programs. CCEDNet – Manitoba will seek to clarify what data supports this expectation, out of concern a reduction in EIA spending will harm low-income Manitobans.
The Province is contributing an additional $7 M to index RentAssist to median rates.
There is no increase to assistance rates for low-income Manitobans in Budget 2018. As highlighted by Make Poverty History Manitoba, current EIA rates leave recipients with income that falls as much as 47 percent below the poverty line for single individuals.
Budget 2018 commits to increases the Basic Personal Amount tax credit available to all Manitobans by $1,010 in each of the taxations years 2019 and 2020.
Funding for Neighbourhoods Alive! has been maintained at $5.08 M (a slight funding decrease when factoring inflation).
Funding for Community Places has increased by 11%, from $5.17 M in 2017/18 to $5.74 M in 2018/19. CCEDNet – Manitoba will continue to monitor these programs to advocate this funding is spent in the highest value way: long-term, stable agreements with community organizations.
Earlier this year, funding for the Manitoba Community Services Council was cut. After an early lack of clarity, government has committed to continuing to spend the funds that were delivered by this organization. The budget shows this money is still allocated to community development but there remains a lack of clarity about how these resources will be deployed now.
Budget 2018 made no mention of the NPO Strategy. CCEDNet – Manitoba will seek clarity about the agreements that were grouped under this program, and will continue to call for long-term, stable funding for community organizations.
The Communities Economic Development Fund (a crown corporation with a mandate to encourage economic development in Northern Manitoba) has been cut by 30%, from $1.43 M in 2017/18 to $1.00 M in 2018/19.
Budget 2018 is clear that a $25/tonne carbon levy is coming into place (projected to net approximately $260 M per year), however does not set a clear plan for recycling these revenues into GHG-reduction initiatives.
The Province has committed to creating an endowment fund for natural infrastructure (managed by the Winnipeg Foundation and administered by the Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation) through a one-time investment of $102 M. The Winnipeg Foundation has averaged 7.10% returns over the last 10 years, suggesting this endowment will generate approximately $7.2 M per year in funding for spending on natural infrastructure.
The remaining revenues from the carbon tax pay for tax reductions in others areas, although Budget 2018 also highlights investing $40 M in green projects. It is unclear how this investment connects with revenues from the carbon tax.
CCEDNet – Manitoba members have advocated that these revenues should be used for energy efficiency efforts and job creation in lo