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Ernie Steeves is the finance minister for the province of New Brunswick. Image: X/Government of New Brunswick

N.B. prepares to release 2023-24 budget

By Brad Perry Mar 21, 2023 | 6:02 AM

New Brunswick’s finance minister is tight-lipped about what will be in Tuesday’s provincial budget.

Ernie Steeves answered questions from reporters on Monday, exactly 24 hours before the budget’s release.

Steeves did reveal that the theme of this year’s budget is “Growth and Opportunity: Delivering for New Brunswickers”.

“I’m confident that this budget will reflect the ongoing investments in what matters most to New Brunswickers and the opportunity to raise the bar as well,” he said.

Steeves was asked whether he thinks New Brunswickers will be happy with where the government is choosing to spend in the upcoming year.

“I think it’s a great budget for the vulnerable and for all New Brunswickers,” he said.

The minister also faced repeated questions about how accurate this year’s budget will be. It comes amid higher-than-expected revenues and massive surpluses the previous two years.

The Higgs government projected a $244-million deficit in 2021-22 but ended the year with a $777-million surplus, an increase of more than $1 billion.

The budgeted surplus of $35 million for 2022-23 is now projected to be $862 million, up by $827 million.

“I think our projections have been along the line with a lot of the projections in Canada,” said Steeves.

“Everybody missed the mark, some more, some less than us. We’re right in the imddle of the pack.”

Steeves will deliver his government’s budget in the legislature at 1 p.m. Tuesday.


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