FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
[La version française suit le texte anglais.]
REMAINING BALANCE IN UNALLOCATED FUNDS WAS $12 BILLION AS OF SEPTEMBER 30
TORONTO, December 8, 2020 - Today, the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario (FAO) released its update on the Province’s 2020-21 spending plan and actual spending through the first two quarters of 2020-21.
During the second quarter (July 1 to September 30), the Province increased its 2020-21 spending plan by $13.8 billion. Of the new planned spending, 96 per cent ($13.3 billion) went to the ‘other programs’ sector and the Province’s three unallocated funds: the COVID-19 Health Sector Response Fund (Health Fund), the Support for People and Jobs Fund (SPJF) and the Contingency Fund. The remaining four per cent of new planned spending went to health ($413 million), children’s and social services ($49 million), justice ($25 million) and education and postsecondary education (combined $7 million).
As of September 30, after accounting for top-ups and transfers during the first and second quarters, the combined remaining balance in the Health Fund, SPJF and Contingency Fund was $12.0 billion. This is an increase of $2.7 billion from the $9.3 billion combined balance reported by the FAO as of August 26. This increase resulted from a larger top-up to the Contingency Fund than was reported in the Province’s 2020-21 First Quarter Finances, expected transfers from the SPJF and Contingency Fund that were not processed as of September 30, and support for some COVID-19 response measures that was provided directly through Supplementary Estimates, rather than from the Health Fund and SPJF. As noted in the 2020 Ontario Budget, any remaining funds in the Health Fund, SPJF and Contingency Fund by year end (March 31, 2021) will reduce both the budget deficit and Ontario’s net debt.
The Province spent $74.3 billion through the end of the second quarter, which was $2.0 billion, or 2.6 per cent, less than planned. Excluding the education sector, which temporarily spent more than planned, all other sectors spent less than planned, led by ‘other programs’ ($1.5 billion below plan), health ($0.8 billion below plan), interest on debt ($0.5 billion below plan) and postsecondary education ($0.5 billion below plan). On a relative basis, postsecondary education spent 13.8 per cent less than planned, largely due to lower than expected spending on student financial assistance programs, while health sector spending was 2.6 per cent below plan.
To learn more, read the full report here.
- Compared to the first two quarters in 2019-20, spending in 2020-21 was up $5.3 billion, or 7.6 per cent, which largely reflects government spending in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
About the FAO
Established by the Financial Accountability Officer Act, 2013, the Financial Accountability Office (FAO) provides independent analysis on the state of the Province’s finances, trends in the provincial economy and related matters important to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. Visit our website at http://www.fao-on.org/en/ and follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/InfoFAO.