Nunavut Post

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Nunavut finance minister tables $2.5B budget with a priority on housing

Nunavut

Key takeaways: 

  • The new funding has an assessed operational surplus of $40 million.
  • Lorne Kusugak, the finance minister for the Government of Nunavut, is tabling the region’s 2022-2023 funding at the Legislative Assembly on Thursday. 

Nunavut Finance Minister Lorne Kusugak gave a $2.5 billion draft operations and maintenance funding for the 2022-23 fiscal year with improved spending on public and staff housing departments. 

The funding is the first from Nunavut’s recently elected government and reflects its importance in the coming year.

Nunavut Housing Corporation’s fund’s spending is up by 3 million dollars from the prior year for $51.5 million in this budget. Of that funds, $21 million is made to make new public housing units, and $6 million is allocated to the Government of Nunavut staff housing units. 

“Even with these acquisitions, we know we will continue to suffer from [a] shortage of cheap, suitable, and supported housing,” stated Kusugak during his budget speech in the Nunavut Legislative Assembly.

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Nunavut Finance Minister Lorne Kusugak gave a $2.5 billion draft operations and maintenance funding for the 2022-23 fiscal year with improved spending on public and staff housing departments

The government wants to make 1,000 new accommodation units over the next four years. The recent investment of $27 million will not be adequate to make all the units. 

This year’s funding has an assessed operational surplus of $40 million—the excess results from lower COVID-19 spending and an expansion in taxes at approximately 5 percent. 

The 2021-22 budget had an estimated $31 million debt. Kusugak said the surplus leaves room to pay more funds on housing. 

“Plans are already under development that could see a proposed total spending of more than $200 million on housing and housing programs during our order,” said Kusugak. 

Source – cbc.ca

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