No cuts in latest N.L. budget, sources say
Budget set to be delivered Thursday morning
Last year, the Tories passed a widely unpopular budget that saw 1,200 public servants laid off and cuts to many program, but the budget being tabled Thursday morning is in stark contrast.
The new budget set to be released by Finance Minister Charlene Johnson will have a large deficit, but won't have the harsh cuts that characterized last year's fiscal situation.
Prior to budget 2013, government projected a $1.6 billion deficit, but that number had dropped significantly — to just over $563 million — come budget time.
The budget is set to be tabled Thursday morning, but government is putting a contingency plan in place to delay the budget, possibly to Monday, if the storm scheduled to hit the province Wednesday night wreaks havoc on St. John's.
Sources told CBC News there will be no cuts or layoffs in the new budget.
"The deficit will be somewhere between $500 and $525 million. That's still a large shortfall, but significantly lower than the $650 million the government was projecting a year ago," said CBC's David Cochrane.
"There is also a plan to return to surplus by 2015."
According to sources, there will be investments in health care, social agencies and education. Government also plans to maintain the post-secondary tuition freeze.
With files from David Cochrane