VICTORIA, B.C. – The Provincial Government is projecting a $12.5 billion deficit for the current fiscal year.

For the 2020-2021 fiscal year, the Provincial Government will spend $6.26 billion on COVID-19 supports. The rest of the deficit will come from reduced tax revenue connected to the pandemic. In PST revenue alone, the Province has received $1.3 billion less than expected.

“B.C. has made extraordinary investments in people and businesses through B.C.’s COVID-19 Action Plan, and we will continue to provide the supports people need as the pandemic and the economic impacts evolve,” said Carole James, Minister of Finance.

Included in the deficit is $1.5 billion for the COVID-19 action plan. The Province will announce details of its economic recovery measures in September.

While Carol James says things are improving, 235,100 fewer jobs were reported in June compared to February. Job losses are not expected to recover this year entirely. Employment in the Province could decline by 9.8% in 2020.

As businesses resume and people go back to work, employment could increase by 4.4% in 2021, representing 102,000 jobs.

Taxpayer-supported debt levels may reach $61.9 billion at the end of 2020-21. In Budget 2020, the projection was $49.2 billion. Despite the need for increased borrowing and higher debt levels, B.C. will benefit from current low-interest rates.

Watch the full fiscal update below.