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PEI tables budget with small surplus of $600,000

Prince Edward Island Premier Wade MacLauchlan speaks with media in Charlottetown on March 2, 2015.

Nathan Rochford/The Globe and Mail

Prince Edward Island's Liberal government delivered on a year-late promise to balance the province's books today, tabling a budget with a projected $600,000 surplus for 2017-18.

The province says the operating surplus results from limiting the growth in expenditures while growing revenues.

The $1.8-billion fiscal plan includes a $35 million increase in health spending to $640 million — touted as the largest increase in nearly a decade.

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Other spending plans include $1.2 million for mental heath and addictions, and funding for adding emergency-room doctors to reduce wait times.

There is also and additional $5.4 million for education, including $600,000 for more educational assistants and $100,000 to increase early years autism grants.

An adjustment to the basic personal amount is also expected to reduce provincial income taxes by $1.5 million for about 85,000 Islanders.

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