FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
[La version française suit le texte anglais.]
GOVERNMENT SPENT $2.6 BILLION LESS THAN PLANNED OVER THE FIRST QUARTER IN 2021-22
TORONTO, September 15, 2021 - Today, the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario (FAO) released its Expenditure Monitor 2021-22: Q1 report. This report provides information on changes to the Province’s 2021-22 spending plan and reviews actual spending by the government over the first quarter of the 2021-22 fiscal year (April 1, 2021 to June 30, 2021).
During the first quarter, the Province added $466 million in planned program spending. The largest increases were to the Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit ($202 million) and the Property Tax and Energy Cost Rebate Grants ($235 million) programs. This $466 million increase in planned program spending was offset by a $474 million drawdown from the Contingency Fund. At the end of the first quarter of 2021-22, there was $1.6 billion remaining in the Contingency Fund.
The Province spent $36.9 billion in the first quarter, which was $2.6 billion (6.6 per cent) less than planned. Most sectors spent less than planned, led by ‘other programs’ ($1.0 billion or 16.6 per cent under plan), health ($1.0 billion or 5.4 per cent under plan) and children’s and social services ($0.5 billion or 11.6 per cent under plan).
Compared to the previous year, spending in the first quarter of 2021-22 was $1.1 billion (2.8 per cent) lower than during the same period in 2020-21. Health sector spending was $0.9 billion (5.8 per cent) more in the first quarter of 2021-22 compared to 2020-21, largely due to higher spending on long-term care homes and payments to physicians. Education sector spending was $1.7 billion (24.1 per cent) less in the first quarter of 2021-22 compared to 2020-21, mainly due to the government’s decision in 2020 to temporarily defer for 90 days municipal Education Property Tax payments to school boards. In order to ensure that the deferral did not have a financial impact on school boards, the Province temporarily increased education spending in the first quarter of 2020-21.
Read the full report here.
- Key programs with below plan spending in the first quarter of 2021-22 include:
- In the health sector, the Province did not spend any of the $2.7 billion COVID-19 Response transfer payment.
- In the ‘other programs’ sector, the Province recorded a $554 million negative adjustment for the Ontario Small Business Support Grant, to account for differences in the timing of the accrual expense and cash payments for the program, and reflects total cash spending for the grant, as of June 30, 2021, of $2.9 billion.
- In the children’s and social services sector, the programs with the lowest relative spending include the Ontario Drug Benefit Plan, Autism, Supportive Services, and Children’s Treatment and Rehabilitation Services.
- In the government’s 2021-22 First Quarter Finances, the Province announced that an additional $2.2 billion in unallocated funds would be made available through a new program called the Time-Limited COVID-19 Fund. This new program was not included in the government’s financial accounts by the end of the first quarter and the FAO expects the funds will be made available in the second quarter.
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.