Media Release: 2019-20 provincial spending $3.5 billion under budget

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                                      

[La version française suit le texte anglais.]


TORONTO, July 28, 2020 - Today, the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario (FAO) released its Expenditure Monitor 2019-20: Q4. This report provides information on spending by the Province through the end of the 2019-20 fiscal year (March 31, 2020), including changes to the 2019-20 spending plan, actual spending results compared to planned spending and an updated budget deficit projection for 2019-20.

Since the tabling of the 2019 Ontario Budget, the Province increased its spending plan by a net $2.6 billion, through Supplementary Estimates (tabled in December 2019) and program budget reallocations. The budgets for electricity subsidy programs (up $1.6 billion) and children’s and social services (up $0.8 billion) received the largest increases.

Although the Province increased its 2019-20 spending plan by $2.6 billion, by the end of 2019-20 actual spending was $3.5 billion below plan. The most significant underspending was achieved in interest on debt ($1.0 billion under budget), health ($0.5 billion under budget), investments in public transit ($0.4 billion under budget), electricity subsidy programs ($0.2 billion under budget) and the Contingency Fund ($0.4 billion in lapsed spending).

Using the FAO’s updated revenue forecast and the Province’s actual spending in 2019-20, the FAO projects a 2019-20 interim budget deficit of $8.7 billion, an improvement of $0.5 billion compared to the government’s budget deficit forecast of $9.2 billion in its March 2020 Economic and Fiscal Update (March 2020 Update). The FAO estimates that 2019-20 total revenue will be $2.0 billion lower than the government’s forecast in the March 2020 Update, reflecting the evolving 2020 economic outlook due to the COVID-19 pandemic, while total expense will be $2.3 billion lower, based on more up-to-date information on provincial spending.

To learn more, read the full report here.

Quick Facts:

  • Overall, 2019-20 spending was 2.2 per cent lower than planned.
  • Spending in the health sector finished the year $466 million under budget, including:
    • $49 million under budget for public health programs;
    • $65 million under budget for hospitals, long-term care homes and community programs; and
    • $314 million under budget for hospital infrastructure projects.

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. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter at


For further information, please contact:
Jessica Martin | 647 527 2385 | |