FREDERICTON (GNB) – Finance Minister Cathy Rogers released the province’s year-end financials today, announcing that the deficit has been reduced by 67 per cent since 2014-15 and that financial targets were exceeded.

“Your government is listening to New Brunswickers and reducing the deficit in a steady, responsible way, while still investing strategically in health care and education,” said Rogers. “Your government is proud to have reduced the deficit by 67 per cent since fiscal 2014-15.”

The government exceeded its goal in terms of deficit reduction for the 2016-17 fiscal year. The deficit for the year ending March 31 was $119 million, which is a $127-million improvement from the budgeted deficit of $246 million. 

Rogers said that, like last year, the result is an improvement from the budget forecast. When the government announced audited financial statements last September for 2015-16, the deficit was $261 million. The 2016-17 deficit of $119 million represents a $142-million reduction year over year.

Revenues were $104 million higher than budgeted. Expenses were $24 million lower than budgeted. Net debt was $13.8 billion at the end of the 2016-17 fiscal year. The increase in the net debt for the year was $167 million, which is $209 million lower than the original budget projection.

“Your government is committed to responsible fiscal management and returning to fiscal balance,” said Rogers. “We have a fiscal plan in place, and that plan is working. We will continue to stay focused on bringing down the deficit while investing strategically in the priorities of New Brunswickers.”

The auditor general has given the province a clean audit opinion. Audited financial statements for 2016-17 are available online.

The New Brunswick Economic Growth Plan is the provincial government’s plan to grow the economy and create job opportunities. It outlines how the government will mobilize to ensure there is a co-ordinated, complementary effort to improve New Brunswick’s economy and realize maximum benefits.