Diana Whalen reveals $680M deficit for Nova Scotia
Former NDP government had predicted a surplus
Nova Scotia racked up a $680 million deficit for the 2013-14 year.
Diana Whalen, the finance minister, called it a "serious" deficit on Thursday. The former NDP government had predicted a $16.4 million surplus.
Many of the expenses were one-offs, so the working deficit is in the $200 million to $250 million range. The governing Liberals have promised a balanced budget by the end of their mandate; the NDP made the same promise.
The government closed the books on the most recent fiscal year, 2013-2014, that ended on March 31. Spending by all departments was up $70 million from last year. Total revenue was down $340 million from last year.
The province's net debt sits at $14.7 billion.
It takes about four months to close the books on a previous year’s finances.
The latest numbers are connected to the final budget for former New Democrat Premier Darrell Dexter’s government.
Last December, the new Liberal government predicted overspending of about $482 million — way above the NDP's deficit prediction of $16.4 million last August.