Yesterday, the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario (FAO) released a new report: Expenditure Monitor 2019-20: Q2.
The Expenditure Monitor is a new type of report, and the first of its kind from the FAO, intended to assist Members of Provincial Parliament track provincial spending and changes to program budgets over the course of the year. This report details spending by the Province during the first six months of the 2019-20 fiscal year (as of September 30, 2019), and identifies changes made to program budgets.
Overall, the Province spent $69.0 billion by the end of Q2, which was $164 million or 0.2 per cent higher than planned at the time of the 2019 budget. Although the “pace” of total government spending was largely in line with the 2019-20 budget plan, there were noteworthy variances within each sector, with the health, education and children’s and social services sectors all spending more than planned over the first six months of 2019-20.
The FAO’s report also identifies changes made to 2019-20 program budgets since the release of the 2019 Ontario Budget. In total, the Province changed the budgets of 86 programs. Overall, program budgets for the 2019-20 fiscal year have been reduced by a net $7 million, including offsets, which represents a significant variance compared to the net $771 million increase to program budgets reported in the Province’s 2019 Fall Economic Statement.