Media Release: FAO releases expenditure monitor 2023-24: Q3

FAO RELEASES EXPENDITURE MONITOR 2023-24: Q3

TORONTO, March 6, 2024  Today, the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario (FAO) released its Expenditure Monitor 2023-24: Q3 report. This report provides an update on the Province’s 2023-24 spending plan and reviews actual unaudited spending by the government over the first three quarters of the 2023-24 fiscal year (April 1, 2023 to December 31, 2023).

‚ÄčThe Province may change its spending plan throughout the year, either by requesting additional spending authority from the Legislature or by reallocating spending among different programs. As of the end of the third quarter, December 31, 2023, the Province’s spending plan was up $2.3 billion. By sector, during the third quarter, the Province increased the ‘other programs’ spending plan by $139 million and decreased the postsecondary education spending plan by $8 million. Additionally, there was a $2.2 billion net increase in the Contingency Fund. 

To manage and monitor its program spending during the fiscal year, the Province divides its spending plan into planned spending by quarter, which reflects historical spending patterns, seasonality and other factors. Over the first three quarters of 2023-24, the Province planned to spend $132.3 billion. However, actual unaudited spending was $132.7 billion. This was $0.4 billion (0.3 per cent) more than planned. Higher-than-planned spending was led by education ($2,620 million) and health ($1,506 million), largely due to compensation for the impact of wage restraint under Bill 124. This was partially offset by sectors with lower-than-planned spending, led by ‘other programs’ (-$2,589 million) and interest on debt
(-$1,119 million).

Compared to the previous year, spending in the first three quarters of the 2023-24 fiscal year was $9.9 billion (8.1 per cent) higher than during the same period in 2022-23. ‚ÄčThe largest year-over-year spending increase was in education ($3,803 million), followed by health ($3,603 million), ‘other programs’ ($1,614 million), children, community and social services ($874 million), justice ($235 million) and postsecondary education ($153 million). Conversely, interest on debt spending was $359 million less than during the same period in 2022-23.

To learn more, read the full report here.

Quick Facts:

  • Programs with the largest spending increases in the first three quarters of 2023-24 compared to the same period in 2022-23 include school board operating grants ($3,082 million), Metrolinx infrastructure projects ($1,153 million), the operation of hospitals ($1,039 million), Ministry of Health drug programs ($857 million), payments to physicians ($798 million), the operation of long-term care homes ($776 million), child care ($579 million), home care ($353 million) and the Ontario Disability Support Program ($306 million).
  • The Province started the 2023-24 fiscal year with a total of $4.0 billion in the Contingency Fund. In the first and second quarters, the Province transferred $849 million and $277 million, respectively, from the Contingency Fund to various programs. In the third quarter, the Province topped up the Contingency Fund by $2.5 billion but transferred out $288 million to fund various programs. At the end of the third quarter, the Contingency Fund had a remaining balance of $5.1 billion.
  • A portion of the education and health sector spending related to Bill 124 will not have a fiscal impact at the end of the 2023-24 fiscal year because it was already recorded as a liability in 2022-23.

About the FAO:

Established by the Financial Accountability Officer Act, 2013, the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario (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 or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn for more information on our reports.

-30-

For further information, please contact:

Sophia Zhu l 416 931 5498 l SZhu@fao-on.org l fao-on.org