Report from the Legislature

January 9, 2013

Report from the Legislature, Jan. 9, 2013

One of the keys to getting where you want to be is knowing where you've been. That rings very true for our government as we move into 2013. 2012 was a fantastic year for Saskatchewan with record levels of investment, job growth and population.

Our population hit an all-time of 1,086,564 last year. There are 23,024 thousand more people living
in Saskatchewan. This is the largest-ever single year population increase since 1921. One of the
challenges of that kind of growth is having enough work for those people. Saskatchewan came through with shining colours on that front in 2012. In December, there were a record 539,800 people working in Saskatchewan, a new monthly record. Over the course of the year, full-time employment increased by 16,300

Those are just a few of the truly impressive economic statistics for the Land of the Living Skies in 2012.

We also led the country in non-residential investment, at $1.3 billion in the first three quarters of the year. Saskatchewan was also best in Canada in terms of urban housing starts, with an increase of 35.4 per cent in the first 11 months. Our international exports totalled $26.5 billion and retail sales had hit $14.25 billion, by October 2012. While we're still waiting for some final data to come in, 2012 was a great year and all indications are to expect more of the same in 2013.

The Conference Board of Canada is predicting Saskatchewan will be number one in terms of
economic growth this year, at 3.4 per cent. According to seven other major economic forecasters,
Saskatchewan's growth rate will still be amongst the top in the nation.

In 2013, families will continue to benefit from our government's actions in regards to income tax. This year, a family of four will pay no provincial income tax on their first $47,790 of income –the highest tax-free income threshold for a family of four in Canada. Since 2008, our government has taken several measures to reduce personal income taxes which, when you combine them with new tax reduction programs like the refundable Low Income Tax Reduction and Active Families Benefit, have resulted in significant savings for Saskatchewan families. By the end of this year, a family of four making $50,000 a year will have saved over $12,000 in taxes over the last six years.

In 2013, our government will continue to be guided by the growth plan we announced last fall – which includes balanced budgets, a population of 1.2 million by 2020 and an aggressive growth agenda with measurable targets. The Saskatchewan Plan for Growth lays out a very clear direction that means more growth, more investment and more people living and working here. Through the growth plan, we will ensure that the benefits of growth are used to improve the quality of life for you and your family.

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