[La version française suit le texte anglais.]
FAO RELEASES EXPENDITURE MONITOR 2022-23: Q4 REPORT
TORONTO, August 2, 2023 – Today, the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario (FAO) released its Expenditure Monitor 2022-23: Q4 report. This report provides information on unaudited spending by the Province through the end of the 2022-23 fiscal year (March 31, 2023), including changes to the Province’s spending plan, an updated budget balance projection and the year-end status of the Province’s Contingency Fund.
During the 2022-23 fiscal year, the Province increased its spending plan by $1,294 million to $194.3 billion, with the largest increases going to ‘other programs’ ($4,208 million), followed by justice ($189 million) and education ($128 million). The remaining program sectors had spending plan decreases during the 2022-23 fiscal year: health (-$312 million), postsecondary education (-$116 million) and children’s and social services (‑$65 million). The Province also transferred a net $2,738 million from the Contingency Fund to the program sectors during 2022-23.
Although the Province increased its 2022-23 spending plan to $194.3 billion, at year-end actual unaudited spending was $187.1 billion. This was $7.2 billion (3.7 per cent) less than planned. All sectors spent less than planned, led by ‘other programs’ (-$2,407 million or 6.4 per cent less than planned), health (-$1,693 million, 2.2 per cent) and interest on debt (-$452 million, 3.5 per cent).
Compared to 2021-22, spending in 2022-23 was $6.6 billion (3.7 per cent) higher. The largest year-over-year spending increase was in education ($2,496 million, 7.7 per cent), followed by ‘other programs’ ($2,114 million, 6.3 per cent) and children’s and social services ($915 million, 5.3 per cent). Conversely, health sector spending in 2022-23 was $37 million lower than in 2021-22, largely due to lower COVID-19-related spending in 2022-23.
Based on the spending information included in this report and the FAO’s most recent revenue forecast, the FAO projects a small budget surplus in 2022-23 of $37 million. This is a $2.2 billion improvement compared to the Province’s deficit projection of $2.2 billion in the 2023 Ontario Budget, tabled on March 23, 2023. The difference between the two forecasts largely reflects more up-to-date information available to the FAO, which includes more recent spending information. The actual budget balance will be available with the release of the 2022-23 Public Accounts of Ontario, expected in September 2023.
To learn more, read the full report here.
- Programs with the largest year-over-year spending increases include a $5,000 million increase for the Province’s contribution to the proposed $10 billion settlement agreement between the governments of Ontario and Canada and 21 Robinson Huron First Nations over unpaid annuities, a $1,213 million increase to support the Province’s commitment to provide an average of $10-a-day child care by 2025, payments to physicians ($1,015 million increase), operating funding for school boards ($564 million net increase), the operation of long-term care homes ($362 million increase) and Ontario Works – Financial Assistance ($324 million increase).
- For context, the $7.2 billion (3.7 per cent) in less than planned spending (or net savings) for 2022-23 is higher than the net savings recorded in 2021-22 of $4.7 billion (2.5 per cent) but less than the net savings recorded in 2020-21 of $8.6 billion (4.6 per cent). Over the four-year period from 2019-20 to 2022-23, the Province averaged annual savings of $5.9 billion (3.2 per cent).
- The Province started the 2022-23 fiscal year with a total of $4.6 billion in the Contingency Fund. During the 2022-23 fiscal year, the Province transferred a net $2.7 billion to various programs. At year-end, the Contingency Fund had a remaining balance of $1.8 billion, which will reduce both the budget deficit and Ontario’s net debt.
- The spending information in this report is based on information provided by the government to the FAO as of April 24, 2023. There will be additional 2022-23 spending transactions that are recorded between April 24, 2023 and the release of the 2022-23 Public Accounts of Ontario. Depending on the extent of these post year-end transactions, there may be material changes from the spending information presented in this report.
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.