Highlights of Quebec's 2010-11 budget
Published Tuesday, March 30, 2010 4:20PM EDT
QUEBEC - Highlights of the 2010-11 Quebec budget presented Tuesday by Finance Minister Raymond Bachand:
-- An increase of one percentage point in the provincial sales tax to 9.5 per cent on Jan. 1, 2012; the rate is climbing to 8.5 per cent from 7.5 per cent on Jan. 1, 2011, under a measure announced in last year's budget.
-- A hike of one cent a litre in the fuel tax as of April 1, and similar annual increases for three years after that.
-- A jump in postsecondary tuition fees, currently the lowest in the country.
-- A two-year pay freeze for the premier, cabinet ministers and members of the legislature.
-- A projected deficit of $4.5 billion on revenues of $64.5 billion. The province expects to post two more deficits before returning to a balanced budget in 2013-14.
-- An annual increase of 3.7 per cent in the price of electricity for all Quebec consumers, beginning in 2014-15, with the exception of large industrial customers. The move is expected to generate $1.6 billion a year, money that will be used to pay down the province's galloping debt. The hikes are in addition to regular rate increases requested by Hydro-Quebec over the coming years.
-- Gross debt expected to be $160.1 billion on March 31, 2010. That is equivalent to 53.2 per cent of gross domestic product, making Quebec the most heavily indebted province in Canada.