FREDERICTON (CNB) – Auditor General Kim MacPherson’s concern with the province's fiscal state was highlighted in her report tabled in the legislative assembly today. She cited a number of disturbing trends and called on the government to take action.

The province has had three consecutive years of deficits with a fourth one projected for 2011-12.  Net debt increased $1 billion in 2010-11, is up $2.8 billion since 2006-07 and will soon exceed $10 billion.

The rapid growth in New Brunswick's net debt reflects a declining fiscal situation that is outpacing that of comparable provinces.

“We compared our fiscal results to Nova Scotia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan,” said MacPherson. “The numbers show our province has the highest percentage increase in net debt, highest percentage increase in net debt per capita and highest percentage increase in net debt per gross domestic product.”

In addition, historical trends measuring sustainability of the province show its financial health continues to worsen.

“If not addressed, it will eventually impact the province's ability to meet the public's demand for services and its financial commitments to creditors and employees,” said MacPherson. “The government needs to detail a plan to improve financial results and gain control of deficits and net debt.”

Today's report contains two volumes; Volume II focuses on matters arising from the annual financial audit of the province and Crown agencies. Volume III reports the results of Value for Money projects completed during 2011. Volume I, on Provincial Wastewater Commissions, was previously tabled in October 2011.  All three volumes are available on the Office of the Auditor General website.


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