FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government has released the public accounts for the 2021-22 fiscal year ending March 31, 2022.

“These financial results are reflective of our growing population and of the strong economic recovery our province is experiencing as we emerge from the COVID-induced economic decline,” said Finance and Treasury Board Minister Ernie Steeves. “Despite these positive results, it remains for us to manage challenges such as labour supply shortages, high inflation and rising interest rates that are driving up costs here in New Brunswick and throughout the world.

“Our fiscal results help inform the discussion on our path forward in addressing today’s key challenges, including in health care and housing, as we prepare for the needs of future generations of New Brunswickers,” he said.

The audited financial statements include government departments and other organizations such as NB Power, school districts, health authorities and not-for-profit nursing homes.

New Brunswick reported a surplus of $777.3 million for the 2021-22 fiscal year. This surplus is an increase of $289.5 million from the $487.8 million projected in the third-quarter fiscal and economic update.

This surplus does not represent cash available for government spending, but is a key measure used in evaluating performance.

Total consolidated revenues were $11.4 billion for the year. Taxes including personal income tax, the Harmonized Sales Tax, and corporate income tax account for the majority of the revenue variance from budget, reflecting the stronger economy. As compared to third-quarter projected results, revenue increased by $178 million, with about half of the variance attributed to an adjustment reflecting personal protective equipment and rapid tests received from the federal government.

Total consolidated expenses were $10.6 billion, $12 million lower than the budget estimate. Expenses grew 7.1 per cent over the previous year reflecting additional investments in health and education, as well as higher expenses for the settlement of collective agreements and spending to protect residents from COVID-19.

At year end, net debt was $12.4 billion. The net debt to GDP ratio for 2021-22 decreased to 29.9 per cent from 35.8 per cent.

The auditor general provided an unmodified opinion on the province's consolidated financial statements for the fiscal year.