Attestation by the Secretary to Treasury Board
As required by Section 7(d) of the Budget Transparency and Accountability Act (BTAA), I am confirming that the Budget and Fiscal Plan contains the following elements:
- The fiscal and economic forecasts for 2006/07, which are detailed in Part 1 and Part 3.
- All material economic, demographic, taxation, accounting policy and other assumptions underlying the 2006/07 economic, revenue,
expenditure, surplus and debt forecasts are also disclosed. We have disclosed key assumptions regarding ongoing or anticipated
negotiations. In particular:
- For budget planning purposes the status quo is assumed to prevail in the U.S. lumber dispute;
- The fiscal plan assumes the latest estimate for British Columbia’s 2006/07 equalization revenues provided by the federal government in November, 2005. The mechanism for allocating equalization transfers among provinces thereafter is still under review by an independent panel. Given the current uncertainty as to how equalization revenues will be allocated to provinces, no equalization revenues have been assumed after 2006/07;
- The status quo is assumed regarding other federal government policies including Early Learning and Child Care and taxation;
- The fiscal plan includes the negotiating framework announced by government on November 30, 2005. This covers new wage and benefit agreements and totals up to $6 billion by 2009/10. These compensation increases are included in the fiscal plan on an aggregate basis; and
- The one exception to this is ICBC which has continued to include compensation pressures including benefits costs and anticipated wage settlement costs in its forecast, consistent with its submission to the BC Utilities Commission.
These assumptions and major areas of risk to the plan known at this time are disclosed in the risks section in Part 1 and in the material assumption tables in the appendix.
- The report on the current advice of the Minister’s Economic Forecast Council on economic growth, including the range of forecasts for 2006 and 2007. This is found at the end of Part 3.
The financial forecasts of schools, universities, colleges and health authorities/societies (the SUCH sector) have been developed and signed off by the various organizations, using broad policy assumptions provided by the Ministries of Health, Advanced Education and Education. However due to the timing of the budget, SUCH sector organizations submit their forecasts prior to formal development and approval of their annual plans by their respective boards. As a result, final approved financial plans may differ from the forecasts included in the Budget and Fiscal Plan.
The accounting policies followed in the Budget and Fiscal Plan comply, in all material respects, with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) for senior governments as prescribed by the Public Sector Accounting Board (PSAB).
As required under section 7(e) of the BTAA, the forecast allowance, which is an adjustment to the most likely forecast of the 2006/07 surplus, is also disclosed. The forecast allowances included in this fiscal plan help mitigate against revenue risks such as a sudden fall in energy prices, or unexpected costs such as natural disasters.
I would like to thank staff in all government ministries, Crown corporations and the SUCH sector for their work in developing the plans and preparing these multi year economic and financial forecasts. I would like to especially acknowledge the hard work, dedication and expertise of my colleagues in the Ministry of Finance for their support in preparing this budget.
Deputy Minister and
Secretary to Treasury Board