Taxpayers Federation reacts to New Brunswick’s second quarter fiscal update
- New Brunswick’s net debt is growing and spending is up
HALIFAX, NS: Canadian Taxpayers Federation Atlantic Director Paige MacPherson released the following statement in response to the New Brunswick government’s second quarter fiscal update:
“The fiscal challenges facing New Brunswick are serious and require swift action to reduce spending. The deficit is down slightly to $131.4 million, but the net debt is increasing by hundreds of millions and is projected to hit $14.3 billion by March of next year. That’s an unsustainable debt load on the backs of provincial taxpayers.
“The province has a spending problem with expenses overbudget by nearly $100 million.
“Reducing spending isn’t easy, but there are lots of savings to be found. New Brunswick’s spending as a share of GDP is significantly higher than all other provinces except Prince Edward Island. The province can start by eliminating Opportunities New Brunswick and all corporate welfare, cutting the language duplication in the bureaucracy and directing all departments to find significant savings.
“The New Brunswick government has acknowledged that the province’s credit rating is at risk of being downgraded. A downgrade would increase debt interest payments for New Brunswick taxpayers and suck money away from schools and hospitals.
“We commend the government for recognizing the problems ahead for both current and future taxpayers, but we implore the premier and finance minister to take action now to reduce spending. Sustaining a good quality of life in New Brunswick depends on it.”