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Tories announce new funding for health and education

Hospitals and school boards will both get more funding next year, the government announced Thursday.

Hospitals and school boards will both get more funding next year, the government announced Thursday.

All nine district health authorities and the IWK Health Centre will receive a four per cent increase to operational or non-wage budgets, as well as full funding for wage and benefit increases.

While the increase is less than the seven per cent district health authorities got in recent years, the government will also chip in $10 million to be spent on medical equipment.

The province separately announced that it would be giving $44.8 million to school boards in 2009-10. Most of that money will go towards salary costs.

Premier Rodney MacDonald said he was announcing the spending increases before the spring budget because the departments needed to know how much money they had to work with. He dismissed the idea that the announcements were political.

“Not at all. There are certain obligations our school boards have, for example contractual obligations,” he told reporters Thursday.

“It provides for better decision making. And it’s appropriate, given some of the time constraints that they’re under.”

The education spending is close to the 4.5 per cent increase school boards had been seeking.

Health Minister Karen Casey said she wouldn’t give specific numbers until the district health authorities get them, but said the increase should be enough.

“All DHAs were taking part of that seven per cent and using it for capital for equipment purchases. So what we did was we reduced that seven to four but we put aside $10 million for capital,” Casey said. “We believe it will balance out.”

Last year the district health authorities received $1.4 billion.

 
 
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