[La version française suit le texte anglais.]
PROVINCIAL SPENDING $6.4 BILLION LESS THAN EXPECTED THROUGH THIRD QUARTER OF 2022-23
TORONTO, March 1, 2023 – Today, the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario (FAO) released its Expenditure Monitor 2022-23: Q3 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 three quarters of the 2022-23 fiscal year (April 1, 2022 to December 31, 2022).
As of the end of the third quarter, December 31, 2022, the Province’s total spending plan was up $209 million, reaching $193.2 billion. By sector, in the third quarter, the 'other programs’ spending plan increased by $1,137 million, followed by health ($183 million), children’s and social services ($146 million), justice ($42 million) and education ($3 million). These increases were partially offset by a $1,302 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. Over the first three quarters of 2022-23, the Province expected to spend $129.2 billion. However, actual unaudited spending was $122.8 billion. This was $6.4 billion (5.0 per cent) less than expected. All sectors spent less than expected, led by ‘other programs’ (-$3,534 million), health (-$1,251 million), education (-$844 million), children’s and social services (-$458 million), postsecondary education (-$175 million), justice (-$88 million) and interest on debt (-$87 million).
Compared to the previous year, spending over the first three quarters of 2022-23 was $2.9 billion (2.4 per cent) higher than during the same period in 2021-22. The largest year-over-year spending increase was in health ($1,119 million), followed by education ($852 million), interest on debt ($762 million), children’s and social services ($737 million), postsecondary education ($165 million) and justice ($51 million). Conversely, ‘other programs’ spending was $818 million less than during the same period in 2021-22.
To learn more, read the full report here.
Key programs with lower-than-expected spending include Metrolinx and municipal infrastructure projects (-$1,197 million), electricity subsidy programs (-$665 million), Ministry of Infrastructure capital programs (-$644 million), public health (-$605 million), Metrolinx and municipal transit operating funding (-$462 million), social assistance programs (-$453 million), elementary and secondary education programs (-$432 million) and child care programs (-$396 million).
Programs with the largest year-over-year spending increases include child care ($762 million), payments to physicians ($518 million), drug programs ($422 million), the operation of hospitals ($353 million) and the operation of long-term care homes ($342 million).
The Province started the 2022-23 fiscal year with a total of $4.6 billion in unallocated funds in the Contingency Fund. In the second and third quarters, the Province transferred $373 million and $1,302 million, respectively, from the Contingency Fund to various programs. This results in a remaining balance in the Contingency Fund, as of December 31, of $2.9 billion.
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.