The Department of Finance is preparing to release two sets of financial records for the province, more than five months after the last fiscal update.

Finance Minister Blaine Higgs hasn’t offered a quarterly fiscal update on the province’s track record in 2013 or the final audited statement on the 2012-13 deficit.

By comparison, the Nova Scotia government managed to release that province’s final audited statement in July.


Finance Minister Blaine Higgs will release two financial reports later in September, according to his department. ((CBC))

New Brunswick’s finance department, however, said on Wednesday the fiscal update for the first quarter of 2013-14 and the final audited statement for 2012-13 will be coming later in September.

New Democratic Party Leader Dominic Cardy said the finance minister has kept New Brunswickers in the dark over the financial situation for too long.

"Given that the first quarter is so far behind us, let's just get some update as quickly as possible," Cardy said.

The first quarter concluded at the end of June.

In March, Higgs estimated the provincial deficit would hit nearly $478.8 million in 2013-14.

At the same time, the finance minister pegged the 2012-13 deficit at $411.1 million.

The large deficits prompted the Alward government to abandon promises in the election campaign that a Progressive Conservative government would not increase taxes.

The Tories campaigned on keeping the corporate tax rate at 10 per cent, but it was increased to 12 per cent in the 2013 budget.

Further, Alward said personal income taxes would only be increased on the highest income bracket. However, the 2013 budget increased taxes in all income brackets.

The combined tax increases are among the largest in New Brunswick history and are expected to collect about $200 million in revenue.

Even with the tax increases, the Alward government might not be able to erase the deficit as promised before the 2014 election.

Cardy said the public needs the most current information about the provincial government’s ongoing fight with the deficit.

But the NDP leader is not the first opposition politician to make that argument.

Three years ago, David Alward, as the leader of the opposition, criticized the Liberal government for keeping financial news from the public and he promised regular updates every 13 weeks once he became premier.

The fiscal updates offer a glimpse at the spending of each department to see if they are adhering to their budget.

The updates also track how much revenue is coming into the province. The updates offer an early warning for any financial problems that the government may be experiencing in the budget year.