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A look at some highlights in the Manitoba budget

WINNIPEG — Manitoba's Progressive Conservative government tabled its 2020-21 budget on Thursday. Here are some of the highlights:

— The province estimates health care costs this year could jump by between $50 million and $200 million due to COVID-19, and government revenues may drop anywhere from $160 million to $682 million.

— The budget for emergency expenditures is to double to $100 million.

— The province is to put another $300 million into its rainy-day fund to provide a cushion against unexpected costs or economic slowdowns.

— Manitoba Housing to move away from owning properties over the next five years.

— A tobacco tax increase that works out to $1 per carton will take effect July 1.

— Vehicle registration fees to be cut by 10 per cent July 1, probate fees to be eliminated July 1, and the sales tax will be removed from personal income tax return preparation on Oct. 1.

Spending increases in areas such as health and family services to be kept below two per cent.

— Budget predicts a deficit of $220 million, down from $325 million in the current fiscal year. Plan is to balance the budget before the next election in 2023.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 19, 2020

The Canadian Press

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