2013 Budget Calculator

When Jerome Kennedy unveiled the 2013-2014 budget this week, he underscored how he was dealing with a "a very volatile resource in a very volatile economy." That was just about the dramatic swings in expected revenues in the offshore oil industry, in the wake of changes in oil prices and production estimates.

There are hundreds of moving targets in the provincial budget, from personal income and consumption taxes to demands on medicare to scores of fees collected for the provincial treasury.

The government is forecasting a deficit of about $563.8 million for the coming fiscal year. Do you think you can do better? Or are you prepared to run a higher deficit in return for spending more money on various programs? Would you raise taxes to forego cuts that have meant the elimination of 1,200 public-sector positions? Would you rather cut deeper to ensure a surplus?

This tool is a blunt instrument, but it will give you an idea of the untold choices that cabinet faced.

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