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The New Brunswick legislature in Fredericton. Image: Brad Perry

N.B. MLAs pass 2024-25 provincial budget

By Brad Perry Apr 3, 2024 | 5:55 AM

The final New Brunswick budget before the next provincial election has passed in the legislature.

Provincial MLAs voted 25-18 in favour of approving the $13.3-billion budget on Tuesday.

All Progressive Conservative MLAs who were present voted in favour of it.

The province said it plans to spend a record $3.8 billion on health care in 2024-25.

That is about $214 million more than what the province budgeted last year, though year-end expenses are projected to come in around $212 million over budget.

RELATED: N.B. health care gets biggest budget ever, low-income seniors’ benefit increased

Finance Minister Ernie Steeves projected a surplus of around $41 million, but what the final figure will be remains to be seen.

New Brunswick has seen fluidity in its surplus projections and actual results in the past couple of years.

It originally budgeted for a $40 million surplus for the 2023-24 fiscal year, but is now projecting a surplus of $247 million.

The province’s net debt is forecast to increase by around $315 million this year after several years of decreases.