FREDERICTON (GNB) – Finance Minister Cathy Rogers released the province’s year-end financials today, announcing that the deficit for 2015-16 is $260.5 million.

“We are pleased with our year-end result which is an improvement from the budget forecast,” said Rogers. “We budgeted to have a deficit of $326.8 million, not including the contingency reserve, and the reality is we did better than that. We have seen a reduction of $66 million in our deficit.”

Revenues were $78 million higher than budgeted. The consolidation of nursing home services and higher revenue from personal income tax were contributing factors, offset by the lower-than-anticipated net income of NB Power.

Expenses were $12 million higher than budgeted. Lower-than-budgeted expenses in Economic Development and General Government were offset by the consolidation of nursing home expenses and increased costs under the disaster financial assistance program.

The auditor general has provided an unqualified audit opinion of the financial statements in 2015-16.

“While the net debt grew, we are committed to responsible fiscal management and returning to fiscal balance,” said Rogers. “The statements released today are a good indication that we are on the right track.”

Audited financial statements for 2015-16 are available online.