The first wave of the pandemic in Quebec resulted in public finances by plunging into the red of the order of $ 4.9 billion, reveals the financial operations report published on Friday.
At the end of the first quarter of the 2020-2021 fiscal year, on June 30, the Ministère des Finances recorded a decrease in own-source revenue of $ 4.1 billion, compared to the same period the previous year.
Spending, mostly due to COVID-19, had already increased by $ 2.6 billion from the previous year, an increase of 15%.
On the same date, last year, the Minister was delighted with a surplus of $ 824 million. Twelve months later, we found $ 5.7 billion less in state coffers.
Towards a $ 14.9 billion deficit
“The financial results of the Government of Quebec, for the first three months of 2020-2021, reflect the economic impacts of the pandemic and the resources mobilized to deal with the crisis,” responded the Minister of Finance, Eric Girard.
Last June, he estimated the total cost of the pandemic at $ 6.6 billion, including $ 2.3 billion this year alone to stock up on masks, gowns and protective gloves.
He indicated that the financial year should end with a deficit estimated at that time at $ 14.9 billion.
“[A deficit of] $ 14.9 billion remains our forecast,” Minister Girard confirmed to our Parliamentary Office on Friday.
“The government has taken the necessary steps to support businesses and individuals. Over the next few months, we intend to continue our action with the implementation of new support and recovery measures, ”declared Mr. Girard, who will take stock of the economic situation towards the end of the year.
The Monthly Report on Financial Operations as of July 31, 2020 will be published at the same time.
From April to June 2020, Québec's financial health was particularly contaminated by:
- Revenue of $ 25.4 billion, down 18.1%
- Spending of $ 29.6 billion, up 9.7%
- Tax revenues down $ 2.7 billion (15.1%)
- Expenditures by healthcare establishments up by $ 2.4 billion, especially for the purchase of protective equipment and the payment of incentive bonuses to employees
- The $ 1.6 billion (26.2%) decrease in consumption taxes
- A decrease of $ 611 million (33.7%) in income from corporate taxes
- The decrease of $ 289 million (3.6%) in personal income tax, in particular due to the decrease in wages and job losses