Fraser Institute News Release: Saskatchewan government spending reaches highest level on record in 2021 at $16,843 per person

REGINA, Saskatchewan, Feb. 28, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Per-person (inflation-adjusted) program spending in Saskatchewan reached its highest level on record at $16,843 in 2021 (excluding COVID-related spending, per-person spending ($15,585) was still by far the highest on record), finds a new report published today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

“A useful way of measuring a government’s fiscal policy is by reviewing per-person (inflation-adjusted) program spending by various Premiers,” said Tegan Hill, senior economist with the Fraser and co-author of Saskatchewan Premiers and Provincial Government Spending.

This study reviews annual per-person program spending (inflation-adjusted) by Saskatchewan premiers from 1965 to 2021, and finds that the highest single year of per-person spending on record was under Premier Scott Moe in 2021. Even excluding COVID-related spending, 2021 was still the highest year on record.

The second highest year of inflation-adjusted per-person spending ($14,904) occurred in 2020, with non-COVID related spending at $13,541 that year.

In contrast, in 1996, then-premier Roy Romanow’s government spent $7,148 per person (adjusted for inflation) after a period of austerity to better control the province’s finances, which laid the foundation for debt elimination and tax relief, contributing to a period of prosperity in Saskatchewan.

“Holding the line on the growth of provincial spending, as the government achieved in the 1990s, is imperative to the long-term health of the province’s finances,” Hill said.

Tegan Hill, Senior Economist
Fraser Institute

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The Fraser Institute is an independent Canadian public policy research and educational organization with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal and ties to a global network of think-tanks in 87 countries. Its mission is to improve the quality of life for Canadians, their families and future generations by studying, measuring and broadly communicating the effects of government policies, entrepreneurship and choice on their well-being. To protect the Institute’s independence, it does not accept grants from governments or contracts for research. Visit