Election year budget promises tax breaks for Manitobans, jump in health-care spending

The Manitoba government’s election-year budget brings millions in tax savings and billions in increased health-care spending.

The proposed budget, which Premier Heather Stefanson intends to take to the electorate, sees overall spending jump by nearly 10 per cent which the province says brings funding increases in all 19 government departments.

“These are historic times and I think historic times call for historic measures,” Stefanson told reporters. “That is really what this budget is all about.”

The province says its $2 billion in extra spending this year is expected to come from a boost in provincial revenues and federal transfers.

It also sees a projected deficit drop of $15 million, to bring the total to $363 million.

Here is a breakdown of what is included in the 2023 budget.


Manitobans will not have to pay income tax on the first $15,000 they earn in 2023.

This will mean up to $524 in savings for individual Manitobans compared to 2022, thanks to changes to the Basic Personal Amount – a non-refundable tax credit all Manitoba residents are entitled to receive.

The province touts this as the largest personal income tax reduction in its history.

However, some of the province’s planned tax breaks won’t take effect until after the provincial election.

Among those is an increase to Manitoba’s tax bracket thresholds effective for the next 2024 tax year, and changes to employer payroll tax.

The thresholds will increase to $47,000 and $100,000 with a return to annual indexing in 2025, the province said.

For businesses that spend more than $4.5 million on payroll, their tax will drop from 2.15 per cent to two per cent. For businesses that spend between $2.25 million and $4.5 million, the tax will drop from 4.3 per cent to 4 per cent.

The province said these changes will exempt about 150 employers from the tax.

It said these tax savings combined will save Manitoba businesses $44 million starting in 2024.


On the health front, the fiscal plan includes $7.9 billion for the health-care system, around a 9.2 per cent increase over last year’s budget.

This includes changes for Manitobans living with diabetes.

The province will be expanding eligibility for the advanced glucose and insulin pump program. In 2021, the province expanded the two programs to include all adults under the age of 25.

With this budget, the province said it will be further expanding the program to include all adults who have been diagnosed with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and have a prescription. It will cost the province $16.8 million this year for pumps, advanced glucose monitors and supplies.

When asked if this is enough to get everyone who qualifies a pump and a monitor, Stefanson said, “We’ll get the details of that. I believe so.”

The province will be spending $120 million more on Manitoba’s Pharmacare program, for a total of $443 million.

The Diagnostic and Surgical Recovery Task Force is getting $130 million. According to the province, this will be used to open more capacity with local and public care providers and implement out-of-province care options.


Included in this year’s budget is a promise of $2.5 billion in ‘trade-enabling highway infrastructure’ over the next five years, which the province said it will include Winnipeg’s Perimeter Freeway Initiative.

The province says it will also be capping university tuition increases to 2.75 per cent for all Manitobans this year. College tuition increases will be capped at $133 per program for Manitoba students.

The province is also looking at putting $1.4 million to develop a Teacher Regulatory Framework, including a teacher registry.

Included in the budget is $51.8 million for the province to create a new two-year Violent Crime Strategy, including more than $34 million this year. Stefanson told reporters details are still being finalized, adding more initiatives will be coming.

Winnipeg’s Downtown Community Safety Partnership and Bear Clan Patrol will both receive some provincial dollars.

Manitobans making minimum wage will see a boost on their paycheques in April and October, with the province upping minimum wage to more than $15 per hour.

When asked if a date has been set for the upcoming provincial election, Stefanson said, as it is now, the election will be held on Oct. 3, 2023.

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