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Agriculture Fares Well Under New Saskatchewan Budget

23 March 2017, at 12:00am

CANADA - The Saskatchewan Pork Development Board says, despite higher costs and reduced supports, agriculture fared well under Saskatchewan's latest provincial budget, according to Bruce Cochrane.

The Saskatchewan government unveiled its 2017-2018 provincial budget yesterday.

Sask Pork Chair Florian Possberg observes the province ran a significant deficit this past year and, while the new budget forecasts a smaller deficit, broadly speaking the government's commitment to agriculture remained unchanged.

Florian Possberg-Saskatchewan Pork Development Board

One of the real significant changes is that in the past we've had tax relief on farm fuel.

It's been completely removed on gasoline so our trucks and that sort that are gasoline driven, that's about a 15 cent per litre increase coming forward.

As well, the levy on diesel fuel is going to retain about 80 per cent of the benefit but 20 per cent of the benefit will disappear so that's a big item.

Our provincial sales tax is going up from five to six percent so that affects a lot of things that we do.

Insurance did not attract PST in the past.

It will in the future.

It'll add six per cent to our insurance costs which are very significant in hog operations.

As well the provincial government is committed to getting abut 40 per cent of the funding for education out of land taxes and that sort of thing so that'll have some impact on agriculture and hog producers as well.

Mr Possberg says considering the province had to dramatically increase revenue and decrease expenses, agriculture has come out of this in a pretty good position.

He says the government recognizes agriculture is a cornerstone of the economy and its continued support is appreciated.

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