NB Announces Largest Surplus in Its History: $777 Million

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NB announces largest surplus in history: $777 million

New Brunswick Finance Minister Ernie Steeves at a press briefing shortly before the tabling of the 2022-2023 budget (archives).

The Government of New Brunswick reports a surplus of $777.3 million for fiscal year 2021-2022, its larger budget surplus as the inflation rate and interest rate have risen rapidly in recent months.

This announcement comes as the inflation rate and the interest rate have risen rapidly in recent months and the health system is experiencing a major crisis.

“Help is coming. We are not blind. We know people need help. But the money that is spent and will be spent will help them.

—Ernie Steeves, Minister of Finance

On the health crisis, Finance Minister Ernie Steeves says money isn't the only solution and the province has a plan to recruit.

The latter advocates financial prudence, particularly in a context where the interest rate and the inflation rate have risen rapidly in recent months. He adds that these results are from last year and that it is not possible to use this money this year.

But we will also help New Brunswickers with the rising cost of food, gas, the cost of living, he says.

He talks about strategic investments, which could include a reduction in taxes and duties.

We have already reduced the cost of daycare, property taxes. We have programs right now, and more will be announced very soon, he explains.

This is the fifth straight year the province has posted a budget surplus, this time the largest in its history.

Yet, in closing in the third quarter, New Brunswick forecast a surplus of $487 million, an increase of $178 million.

Debt decreased during this period by approximately $1 billion from 13.5 to 12.4 billion.

The Minister attributes these results to an increase in the population and also to the economic recovery, following the lifting of health measures.

We were disciplined and we took the right decisions to protect New Brunswickers during the pandemic. I am proud of the way we manage public finances, said Mr. Steeves.

It shows that the government has completely lost touch with the needs of the population, concludes the Liberal René Legacy, Finance Critic.

He says he is in a state of shock and asks the government to invest in resolving the health crisis, maintaining infrastructure and providing better access to housing.

Mr. Higgs and Mr. Steeves are focused on one task: paying the province's debt at any cost, while other people pay the price, said Kevin Arseneau, Green Party MP.

While he is not against the idea of ​​paying off the debt, he believes that it should not be done without thinking about the needs of Neos Brunswickers and workers. He therefore asks the government to invest in health, as well as to fight against climate change and improve access to housing.

With information from Sarah Déry

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