ontario news watch

Federal government posts $1.5B surplus for first two months of fiscal year

OTTAWA — The federal government posted a budgetary surplus of $1.5 billion in April and May, the first two months of the 2023-24 fiscal year.

In its monthly fiscal monitor, the Finance Department says the result compared to a surplus of $5.3 billion during the same period in the previous fiscal year.

Revenues rose by $1.3 billion or 1.8 per cent due to higher interest and employment insurance premiums, on top of greater proceeds from personal income tax and a carbon pricing hike.

Expenses rose $3.9 billion or 6.6 per cent as the government paid out more returns under the pollution pricing framework as well as higher elderly benefits and transfers to other levels of government — all partly offset by the wind-down of COVID-19 income supports.

Higher interest rates have pushed up public debt charges by $1.3 billion or 22.8 per cent since the year before.

Meanwhile, net actuarial losses decreased by $100 million or 4.7 per cent.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 28, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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