New Brunswick

Roger Melanson drops projected deficit to $377M

The provincial government's fiscal update for the second quarter of 2014-15 is both good news and bad news, with the projected deficit down nearly $14 million, but spending $65 million overbudget.

$14M lower than previous deficit projection for 2014-15, but expenses $65M higher than budgeted

The first quarterly update issued by the new Liberal government projects a deficit of $377.2 million for 2014-15, down about $14 million from the previous projection.

But total expenses are currently projected to be $64.5 million higher than budgeted, according to the Department of Finance.

And while overall revenues were up $78.5 million during the second quarter, key revenue streams, including property tax, harmonized sales tax and corporate income tax, were all lower than projected.

"Today’s results clearly show that we need a better approach," Finance Minister Roger Melanson said in a statement on Friday.

"Our government is committed to a balanced approach of reducing the cost of government, increasing revenues, and encouraging private sector investment," he said.

The improved projected deficit is due in part to a one-time payment of $45.8 million from the federal government related to the transition of the Financial and Consumer Services Commission to the new federal Co-operative Capital Markets Regulatory System.