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Provincial Budgets – How They Work

Just think of the province as a family…
Sask Legislature
The Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan in Regina

On March 20, 2024, Saskatchewan Minister of Finance, Donna Harpauer, presented the Provincial Budget.

The news coverage was overpowering. It was like everyone and their dog was describing the sound of a tree falling in the forest.

What was really going on?

Just Think of the Province as a Family…

Consider a family of nine – two adults and 7 children, all living at home.

Mom controls all money coming into the house. Mom lets Dad assume he is in charge and distracts him by sending him off to meetings.

Of the 7 children, Child # 3 and Child # 4 have good jobs and make good money. Every pay day they give their Mom their paycheque and she sorts out how it is spent. There are the basics – groceries and housing. She then splits the rest.

Child # 1, the oldest, is a dreamer who works occasionally. He has grand ideas and needs money. He is the Mom’s favourite. She gives him money for his outlandish projects.

Child # 2 is finding himself. He is in a Rock Band and they are putting out a CD soon. He needs money for a new Drum Kit – and gets it. Since ‘Gigs’ are all over the province he also needs gas money and money for travel expenses. He gets it.

Child # 3 gets a small rebate and money to buy furniture.

Child # 4 gets some money too. She saves some and buys clothes.

Child # 3 and Child # 4 are important to the Mom. She needs their money and she needs to make them happy so they don’t quit their jobs and move to Alberta. So she cooks their favourite meal from time to time and gives them rebates.

Child # 3 and Child # 4 are needed to co-sign a Bank Loan for Child #1 so he can build his crazy new project that in reality is stupid and returns little or nothing on investment.

Child # 5 wants to go to technical school and study ‘Gaming.’ He gets money for a faster computer so he can play computer games in the basement, where he lives, in his own room.

Child # 6 is still in high school and playing hockey. He is a goalie so needs expensive equipment and money for registration in the hockey league. He also needs money to fix a broken tooth.

Child # 7 is still in elementary school and needs money for crayons.

When the Mom checks how much money she has and how much she is spending, she has two choices. Either reduce the money she gives back the Golden Goose Kids, (#3 and #4) or borrow more. If she borrows more she can stash a chunk for her retirement. She can’t count on the kids in her old age. She borrows more.

The Dad? He’s still in meetings.

See! Simple! Right?

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