Capital budget to focus on maintenance, completion of projects already underway11 December 2012
FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government tabled today a $466-million capital budget for 2013-14 that is focused on maintaining existing assets and completing projects already underway. Only $3.5 million will be spent to start new projects, down from $24 million in 2012-13 and $42 million in 2011-12.
"Our government's priorities are maintaining existing assets today to avoid greater costs down the road while completing the projects currently underway in the most timely, cost-effective manner possible," said Finance Minister Blaine Higgs. "At the same time, as we rebuild our province’s finances, we do not believe we are in a financial position to fund a significant number of new projects."
Higgs reported that the provincial government is within two per cent of the original multi-year plan tabled in December 2011, covering the period 2012-13 to 2014-15.
As with last year’s capital budget, the 2013-14 capital budget lays out spending targets for the next two years to help with planning and prioritizing capital needs while improving transparency.
"We are pursuing a balanced approach with respect to our capital budget while staying in line with our multi-year capital budget plan committed to in 2010 and tabled last year," said Higgs.
Also included in the multi-year capital plan for 2015-16 is a pool of funds for the commencement of new capital projects, separate from regular maintenance and replacement expenditures faced each year.
"Having this pool of funds as part of our multi-year projections will allow us to consider new capital project needs in the future without deviating from the spending targets we are establishing today,” said Higgs. “This will help us to ensure that new projects do not distract from maintaining our current assets."
● Establishment of a new pool of funds to start new capital projects in 2015-16.
● Updated multi-year plan projecting capital spending of $513.9 million in 2014-15 and $420.7 million in 2015-16.
● $120.8 million for infrastructure in public schools, including $20.7 million for health and safety improvements.
● $7 million for infrastructure in universities and community colleges.
● $53.2 million for maintaining and improving health-care infrastructure, consisting of $22.3 million for capital improvement and construction projects and $30.9 million for replacements of medical equipment.
Transportation and Infrastructure
● $279.6 million for maintenance, repair and strategic investments.
● Other strategic investments will be explained when departments present their capital budget estimates.
● Department of Finance