11 March 2016

Interim Supply 2016 #nlpoli

The provincial government can only spend money approved by the House of Assembly.

In parliamentary language, the House grants supply to the government, as in a supply of money.

Each year, the government asks for interim supply first.  That's a portion of next year's planned spending to tide them over from the start of the new financial year until they can get the whole budget passed.

There is no hard and fast rule as to how much the interim supply request is compared to the whole budget.  But, if you look at the past eight years or so, you can find one.

The interim supply bill is usually around 36% or 37% of the final budget from the cash-based Estimates.

This year's interim supply request is for $2.8 billion.  That would give you a final budget of roughly $7.5 billion in total spending.  That would be $300 million less than the 2015 budget.  We wouldn't necessarily be looking at a record deficit, but it would close to the one set by Paul Davis in his budget in 2015.

If that's what the final budget looks like,  by the way,  the pattern in the budget would be pretty well solidified.  The amount to come - around $4.7 billion  - would be the average of the budget balance for the past five years.