Total government spending was $926 million higher than forecast in Budget 2011, primarily due to the $1.6-billion, one-time repayment of HST transitional funding to the federal government. Excluding the one-time HST repayment, overall government spending was held to an increase of 2.6 per cent, compared to the Budget 2011 forecast of 4.3 per cent.
Taxpayer-supported capital spending was $3.6 billion for investments in schools, universities, health-care facilities and other capital infrastructure. The Province’s ratio of taxpayer-supported debt to GDP, a key measure of affordability, ended the year at 16.4 per cent-one of the lowest in North America and below the 17.5 per cent forecast in Budget 2011. Taxpayer-supported provincial debt increased $2.8 billion in 2011-12 - approximately $2.1 billion less than forecast in Budget 2011.
While once again results were better than expected, B.C. remains in a period of great economic uncertainty with continued fluctuation in commodity prices and potential economic impacts from the ongoing European debt crisis. British Columbia continues to maintain the highest credit rating possible with Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s Investors Services Inc. at Triple-A. Dominion Bond Rating Service has affirmed the Province at a rating of AA (high). The Balanced Budget and Ministerial Accountability Act requires a 20 per cent
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