Provincial budget date announced
FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government will table its budget in the legislative assembly on Feb. 2. Finance Minister Roger Melanson confirmed the date and noted that the results of the Strategic Program Review will feature prominently in the budget.
“The final decisions relating to the Strategic Program Review will be made in the coming budget so that we are better positioned to deliver on our priorities of creating jobs and helping families,” said Melanson. “We have already undertaken significant consultation as part of the Strategic Program Review with 10 more meetings planned for this month. As part of our review of every line of the government’s books, we have identified hundreds of millions of dollars in potential savings and revenue options.”
The document Choices to Move New Brunswick Forward lays out numerous possibilities to reduce expenditures or increase revenues to prevent New Brunswick from reaching a crisis situation where it can no longer afford to fund critical services such as health care and education.
“The document has initiatives of various sizes, but choosing several of six key major initiatives will be necessary in order to get New Brunswick back on a safe fiscal foundation,” said Melanson.
The six key initiatives are:
- rightsizing senior management in the civil service;
- reducing spending on health care;
- reducing spending on education;
- increasing the Harmonized Sales Tax;
- increasing the Corporate Income Tax; and
- introducing highway tolls.
“In our choices document, we wanted to be clear with New Brunswickers what the various choices mean and give them a meaningful opportunity to weigh in before decisions are made,” said Health Minister Victor Boudreau, who is also minister responsible for the Strategic Program Review.
The government has committed to continue to consult New Brunswickers and then make decisions on the Strategic Program Review in time for the 2016 budget.
Shawn Berry, communications, Department of Finance, 506-453-4138.