[La version française suit le texte anglais.]
PROVINCIAL SPENDING $3.5 BILLION LESS THAN EXPECTED THROUGH THE FIRST HALF OF 2022-23
TORONTO, November 29, 2022 – Today, the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario (FAO) released its Expenditure Monitor 2022-23: Q2 report. This report provides an update on the Province’s 2022-23 spending plan and reviews actual unaudited spending by the government over the first two quarters of the 2022-23 fiscal year (April 1, 2022 to September 30, 2022).
As of the end of the second quarter, September 30, 2022, the Province’s total 2022-23 spending plan of $193.0 billion was unchanged. However, by program sector, the Province made internal budget reallocations that increased the education spending plan by $371 million (for the Catch Up Payments program), followed by ‘other programs’ ($13 million), justice ($2 million), and children’s and social services ($1 million). These spending plan increases were offset by a $14 million reduction in the health sector spending plan and a $373 million transfer from the Contingency Fund.
In order to manage and monitor its program spending during the fiscal year, the Province divides its spending plan into expected spending by quarter, which reflects historical spending patterns, seasonality and other factors. In the first and second quarters of 2022-23, the Province expected to spend $84.0 billion but actual unaudited spending was $80.5 billion. This was $3.5 billion (4.1 per cent) less than expected. All sectors spent less than expected, led by ‘other programs’ (-$1,748 million, 12.5 per cent), health (-$859 million, 2.4 per cent), education (-$413 million, 3.3 per cent), and children’s and social services (-$244 million, 2.7 per cent).
Compared to the previous year, spending over the first half of 2022-23 was $3.6 billion (4.7 per cent) higher than during the same period in 2021-22. All sectors spent more in the first half of 2022-23 compared to 2021-22, led by health ($1,014 million, 3.0 per cent), education ($879 million, 7.9 per cent), children’s and social services ($415 million, 4.9 per cent), and postsecondary education ($150 million, 4.8 per cent).
To learn more, read the full report here.
- Key ministries and programs with lower-than-expected spending in the first half of 2022-23 include the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Response program (spent 11 per cent of $1.7 billion budget), the Ministry of Infrastructure (spent 4.6 per cent of its $2.0 billion budget), and the Ministry of Transportation’s municipal transit capital program (spent less than one per cent of $1,021 million budget).
- Programs with the largest year-over-year spending increases include child care ($542 million), payments to physicians ($408 million), drug programs ($341 million), the operation of hospitals ($323 million), the operation of long-term care homes ($252 million), and the autism program ($167 million).
- Higher provincial spending on child care in 2022-23 reflects the start of the Province’s commitment to provide an average of $10-a-day child care by 2025.
- Interest on debt spending was $518 million (8.9 per cent) higher in the first half of 2022-23 compared to the same period in 2021-22, consistent with the government’s forecast in the 2022 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review.
- The Province started the 2022-23 fiscal year with a total of $4.6 billion in unallocated funds in the Contingency Fund. After accounting for second quarter transfers, the remaining balance in the Contingency Fund, as of September 30, was $4.2 billion.
About the FAO
Under the Financial Accountability Officer Act, 2013, the Officer 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 and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
For further information, please contact:
Jessica Martin l 647.527.2385 l firstname.lastname@example.org l fao-on.org