Nova Scotia Premiers and Provincial Government Spending
— Published on March 21, 2023
- Per-person inflation-adjusted program spending is a key measure of government fiscal policy. With data going back to 1965, we are able to compare different historical periods and the tenures of various Nova Scotia premiers.
- From 1965 to 2021, provincial per-person spending increased substantially over the 56- year period—from $2,114 (in 2021 inflation-adjusted dollars) to $12,880.
- Premier Robert Stanfield stands out as the premier who increased spending the most of any Nova Scotia premier since 1965 (a 20.7 percent average annual change in per-person spending), though our analysis only includes three years of available data on Stanfield’s tenure (1965 to 1967).
- The premiers who increased per-person inflation-adjusted spending the most aside from Stanfield are George Smith (8.7 percent), Gerald Regan (7.1 percent), and Rodney MacDonald (6.3 percent).
- Stephen McNeil (2.4 percent), John Buchanan (1.1 percent), Tim Houston (0.7 percent), and Darrell Dexter (0.4 percent) are the four premiers who have increased per-person inflation-adjusted spending the least during our period of analysis. John Savage was the only premier who presided over a decrease on this measure (a decline of 4.0 percent during his tenure).
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