Province doing better financially

Staff ~ The Telegram
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The province is doing better than expected financially, but is still in the red halfway through this fiscal year.
Today, Finance Minister Tom Marshall, released the 2009-10 fall financial update predicting a deficit of $443 million.
Marshall says that's better than the $750 million deficit forecast in 2009 budget.
Stronger oil prices were the primary reason for the reduced deficit, Marshall says.
"The last year has been uncertain from a global economic perspective and, while the volatility of the markets and the exchange rate continues to present challenges for the country, our government is well positioned to manage its way through the downturn and the recovery," Marshall says. "We have taken an aggressive approach to lower taxes, pay down the debt, lower borrowing costs and have made strategic investments in programs and infrastructure in order to stimulate the economy and provide jobs for our people. This plan, led by Premier Williams, is working and has allowed our province to navigate the economic challenges better than most. Consumer confidence is high, housing starts are robust and housing prices are 18 per cent higher than last year."
The gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to decline 8.5 per cent this year, due to lower mineral, newsprint and fish production, as well as natural declines in oil production. Growth is expected again next year as a result of an anticipated rebound in mineral production and increased construction activity on major projects.
The province has reduced net debt from almost $12 billion to less than $8 billion at the end of 2008-09. On a per capita basis this reduced the amount of debt per person from $22,974 to $15,733.
Net debt at the end of 2009-10 is expected to be $8.6 billion.
"Financial experts and credit rating agencies continue to reaffirm that our plan is working and we are making significant progress," says Marshall. "As a government, we cannot alter from this course, especially as the world recovers from the worst recession since the Depression. While we must recognize our achievements, we must also continue to take a responsible and cautious approach to our investments and planning. We had unprecedented surpluses in the past that helped us become more self-reliant. However, the current global economic uncertainty dictates that we moderate our expectations to ensure our spending of public money is sustainable into the future."

A copy of the fall financial update can be found at: www.gov.nl.ca/fin/2009-10update.htm

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Recent comments

  • Mark
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    Calvin, please list one thing that Danny Williams or his government has done to 'reduce the deficit' from the $570 million to the $443 million as mentioned in the article.

  • don
    July 02, 2010 - 13:33

    To W McLean: You and I know what HAVE status means, but to the average person it means that Newfoundland and Labrador must be rich and rolling in money. That's how the politicians try to portray our economic situation. So, we don't get equalization payments anymore, but for how long I wonder?

  • Mark
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    ''our plan is working''
    That's excellent news.
    But what, pray tell, is that 'plan'?
    Better still, how is any of the revenue currently coming into government coffers, in any way shape, or form directly related to or resulting from this plan?
    Unless of course, you mean the plan of previous governments under whom the now-producing resource were negotiated, built and brought into production.

  • Saucy Face
    July 02, 2010 - 13:29

    To all you Danny haters out there: If this kind of responsible government is what we get from this so called dictatorship that you slam all the time, then I say we need more of this dictatorship ... Kudos to Premier Williams and keep up the good work.

  • W
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    Don, ''have'' status has nothing to do with debt and deficit. ''Have'' is defined solely by reference to the equalization threshold.

  • Bones II
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    Financial experts and credit rating agencies continue to reaffirm that our plan is working and we are making significant progress. - I will take this above the rhetoric Jones and Michael would have us believe. Incidentally, Marshall Dean should have a plan well under way to show the Tories just how it's done, shouldn't he?


    I won't comment under the story about the gas discovery on the west coast, but I'm thinking the fear mongering about the waste of investment for exploration is a little off-base at this point in time. Wait until the oil is found!


    12 billion down to 8 billion by the end of this year is making me think our beautiful speck of world might actually become debt free before I die....unless 2012 gets me first, lol.

  • Jerome
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    This is good to know, as I boil the pot for my supper Kraft Dinner.

  • Saucy Face
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    don from Newfoundland and Labrador writes: What nonsense! More political blather and baloney. What kind of a HAVE Province has over $8 billion in debt and a $500 million deficit?

    Don , according to your logic the USA must be a third world country.

  • don
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    What nonsense! More political blather and baloney. What kind of a HAVE Province has over $8 billion in debt and a $500 million deficit? A HAVE Province would have 0 debt and a budget surplus every year. Still a ways to go! When Hydro-Quebec takes over the power grids in New Brunswick and controls our export of hydro-electricity to the USA and when the oil prices plunge to $40 a barrel that it will be the end of our HAVE Province. If it had not been for the fact that the Government of Canada allowed us to access significant revenue from the offshore oil and paid us a $2 Billion lump sum amount a while ago, Newfoundland and Labrador would be broke by now. Anybody can balance their budget and chequebook if somebody else is paying off the debt and the bills! What a joke!

  • Truth
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    Mark, nailed it.

  • Mark
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    Almost all oft he newfound revenue accruing to the government in this calendar year, as in the past several years, are from royalty agreements negotiated years ago on Voiseys Bay, Hibernia, Terra Nova, White Rose, just to name a few.
    The Williams government cannot take credit for 'planning' this revenue, nor for 'planning' the increased price of oil, any more than they can take credit for putting oil in the ground. In fact, if you go back and check the research and forecasts presented in the Royal Commission papers on 'Our Place, etc.', you'll find that these years of increased revenue generation were predicted even back then.
    Again Calvin, if there is 'plan' of this government, I'd like to see where they 'planned' on such things that are determined by either (a) factors completely beyond their own control, or (b) agreements and projects which came into being long before any of them even entered politics.
    This is half of what's wrong with politics in Newfoundland - half the population truly believes that the government of the day determines when the sun rises and sets, when the tide rolls in and out, and what the weather will be.

  • Micheal
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    If we could just keep the Provincial branding and Nalcor logo costs down we'd be fine! Hey also.... where's my heating credit Dan?

  • Calvin
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    Hold on there Bones, the Danny haters havent even started on this one yet. There is sure to be some down side that we realists have not seen here, just wait. Before this is over, lowering the deficit will be a major contributing factor to the fall of the western world under the dictatorship of Danny Williams and his cronies.

  • Calvin
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    See Bones, told ya. So Mark, can you tell us what plans previous governments put into affect that are causing the obliteration of the provincial deficit? I mean, I know, it is just coincidence that the Williams government happens to be in office when all of these great plans made by previous governments have finally started making the province money. People are crazy.... mark my words, vote Danny out and the deficit will be back to where it was in half the time required to make it drop by almost 4 billion.

  • Bones II
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    don: You obviously have zero idea what a have province is. Have provinces can have debt too, lol. Look it up and realize that we are, indeed, a have province. Now we have a debt load almost 5 billion dollars less than it was. Have status has a direct correlation with the equalization formula and nothing else. Ontario is a big booming place to be have-not, isn't it?


    Thank you Danny, for placing the negotiated wealth of premiers past in places that will make them truly matter to our people and our province well into our future. I can't wait to see what you do with additional revenues from your own negotiated contracts containing equity stakes coupled with super royalty clauses, woo hoo!



    Mark: The plan that is working involves the paying down of the deficit and the long term investment into our energy and mineral future. Haven't you been reading? Don't you realize the money that will be saved by simply not having to service that additional 5 billion in debt? They've done the same thing with resource revenue beyond what was projected this year, which led to the reduction in the deficit. The money HAD to be directed that way by government or the debt would remain. That's one thing, just like you asked, and your proof lies right on the bottom line with the number 443 million, lol.



    Truth Teller: Mark nailed nothing, lol, therefore you have nailed nothing. Our debt still stands at 8 billion - 5 billion less than any other administration in history has been able to accomplish. If you ask me, I'd say we weathered the global recession quite well too, comparative, of course, to some other provinces.



    Jerome: Ahhh, Kraft Dinner, The caviar of retail macaroni and cheese! Ever try that Novo garbage? I had it in Wolfville, N.S. once. Appeared to be a staple product there at the time, judging from the pallet loads available, lol. If you've never had it, don't bother. It sucks.


    Calvin: No haters need to worry about saying what previous premiers or government members have ever done to reduce the debt because they ARE the debt. It began when we joined Canada and compounded itself when Churchill Falls was given away. Every government since the very first one has been responsible for adding to the pile we owe except this one. Not only are we NOT accumulating debt on a consistent basis like we have always done, but we are actually managing to reduce the debt we have. The numbers in question are nothing short of monumental for a little speck in the ocean like ours, and for the first time in our life, the future actually looks promising. I, for one, look forward to being a member of the first, working generation in a very long time, that didn't have to move away to feed myself and pay my bills.





    The haters are going to have it rough when we start getting paid from one of Williams deals if they think all the credit belongs to past premiers now, lol. I hope the man celebrates his hundredth birthday on the eigth floor, hahaha.

  • don
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    To Saucy Face: If the USA would get out of the stupid wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it would eliminate its deficit and pay down its debt in a very short time. At least the USA has the means to pay its bills in the long run. I don't think we have the capacity to do that in Newfoundland and Labrador even if we are prepared to cut services, raise taxes and streamline Government.

  • Mark
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    Calvin, please list one thing that Danny Williams or his government has done to 'reduce the deficit' from the $570 million to the $443 million as mentioned in the article.

  • don
    July 01, 2010 - 20:22

    To W McLean: You and I know what HAVE status means, but to the average person it means that Newfoundland and Labrador must be rich and rolling in money. That's how the politicians try to portray our economic situation. So, we don't get equalization payments anymore, but for how long I wonder?

  • Mark
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    ''our plan is working''
    That's excellent news.
    But what, pray tell, is that 'plan'?
    Better still, how is any of the revenue currently coming into government coffers, in any way shape, or form directly related to or resulting from this plan?
    Unless of course, you mean the plan of previous governments under whom the now-producing resource were negotiated, built and brought into production.

  • Saucy Face
    July 01, 2010 - 20:16

    To all you Danny haters out there: If this kind of responsible government is what we get from this so called dictatorship that you slam all the time, then I say we need more of this dictatorship ... Kudos to Premier Williams and keep up the good work.

  • W
    July 01, 2010 - 20:14

    Don, ''have'' status has nothing to do with debt and deficit. ''Have'' is defined solely by reference to the equalization threshold.

  • Bones II
    July 01, 2010 - 20:14

    Financial experts and credit rating agencies continue to reaffirm that our plan is working and we are making significant progress. - I will take this above the rhetoric Jones and Michael would have us believe. Incidentally, Marshall Dean should have a plan well under way to show the Tories just how it's done, shouldn't he?


    I won't comment under the story about the gas discovery on the west coast, but I'm thinking the fear mongering about the waste of investment for exploration is a little off-base at this point in time. Wait until the oil is found!


    12 billion down to 8 billion by the end of this year is making me think our beautiful speck of world might actually become debt free before I die....unless 2012 gets me first, lol.

  • Jerome
    July 01, 2010 - 20:07

    This is good to know, as I boil the pot for my supper Kraft Dinner.

  • Saucy Face
    July 01, 2010 - 20:05

    don from Newfoundland and Labrador writes: What nonsense! More political blather and baloney. What kind of a HAVE Province has over $8 billion in debt and a $500 million deficit?

    Don , according to your logic the USA must be a third world country.

  • don
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    What nonsense! More political blather and baloney. What kind of a HAVE Province has over $8 billion in debt and a $500 million deficit? A HAVE Province would have 0 debt and a budget surplus every year. Still a ways to go! When Hydro-Quebec takes over the power grids in New Brunswick and controls our export of hydro-electricity to the USA and when the oil prices plunge to $40 a barrel that it will be the end of our HAVE Province. If it had not been for the fact that the Government of Canada allowed us to access significant revenue from the offshore oil and paid us a $2 Billion lump sum amount a while ago, Newfoundland and Labrador would be broke by now. Anybody can balance their budget and chequebook if somebody else is paying off the debt and the bills! What a joke!

  • Truth
    July 01, 2010 - 19:59

    Mark, nailed it.

  • Mark
    July 01, 2010 - 19:58

    Almost all oft he newfound revenue accruing to the government in this calendar year, as in the past several years, are from royalty agreements negotiated years ago on Voiseys Bay, Hibernia, Terra Nova, White Rose, just to name a few.
    The Williams government cannot take credit for 'planning' this revenue, nor for 'planning' the increased price of oil, any more than they can take credit for putting oil in the ground. In fact, if you go back and check the research and forecasts presented in the Royal Commission papers on 'Our Place, etc.', you'll find that these years of increased revenue generation were predicted even back then.
    Again Calvin, if there is 'plan' of this government, I'd like to see where they 'planned' on such things that are determined by either (a) factors completely beyond their own control, or (b) agreements and projects which came into being long before any of them even entered politics.
    This is half of what's wrong with politics in Newfoundland - half the population truly believes that the government of the day determines when the sun rises and sets, when the tide rolls in and out, and what the weather will be.

  • Micheal
    July 01, 2010 - 19:55

    If we could just keep the Provincial branding and Nalcor logo costs down we'd be fine! Hey also.... where's my heating credit Dan?

  • Calvin
    July 01, 2010 - 19:51

    Hold on there Bones, the Danny haters havent even started on this one yet. There is sure to be some down side that we realists have not seen here, just wait. Before this is over, lowering the deficit will be a major contributing factor to the fall of the western world under the dictatorship of Danny Williams and his cronies.

  • Calvin
    July 01, 2010 - 19:50

    See Bones, told ya. So Mark, can you tell us what plans previous governments put into affect that are causing the obliteration of the provincial deficit? I mean, I know, it is just coincidence that the Williams government happens to be in office when all of these great plans made by previous governments have finally started making the province money. People are crazy.... mark my words, vote Danny out and the deficit will be back to where it was in half the time required to make it drop by almost 4 billion.

  • Bones II
    July 01, 2010 - 19:50

    don: You obviously have zero idea what a have province is. Have provinces can have debt too, lol. Look it up and realize that we are, indeed, a have province. Now we have a debt load almost 5 billion dollars less than it was. Have status has a direct correlation with the equalization formula and nothing else. Ontario is a big booming place to be have-not, isn't it?


    Thank you Danny, for placing the negotiated wealth of premiers past in places that will make them truly matter to our people and our province well into our future. I can't wait to see what you do with additional revenues from your own negotiated contracts containing equity stakes coupled with super royalty clauses, woo hoo!



    Mark: The plan that is working involves the paying down of the deficit and the long term investment into our energy and mineral future. Haven't you been reading? Don't you realize the money that will be saved by simply not having to service that additional 5 billion in debt? They've done the same thing with resource revenue beyond what was projected this year, which led to the reduction in the deficit. The money HAD to be directed that way by government or the debt would remain. That's one thing, just like you asked, and your proof lies right on the bottom line with the number 443 million, lol.



    Truth Teller: Mark nailed nothing, lol, therefore you have nailed nothing. Our debt still stands at 8 billion - 5 billion less than any other administration in history has been able to accomplish. If you ask me, I'd say we weathered the global recession quite well too, comparative, of course, to some other provinces.



    Jerome: Ahhh, Kraft Dinner, The caviar of retail macaroni and cheese! Ever try that Novo garbage? I had it in Wolfville, N.S. once. Appeared to be a staple product there at the time, judging from the pallet loads available, lol. If you've never had it, don't bother. It sucks.


    Calvin: No haters need to worry about saying what previous premiers or government members have ever done to reduce the debt because they ARE the debt. It began when we joined Canada and compounded itself when Churchill Falls was given away. Every government since the very first one has been responsible for adding to the pile we owe except this one. Not only are we NOT accumulating debt on a consistent basis like we have always done, but we are actually managing to reduce the debt we have. The numbers in question are nothing short of monumental for a little speck in the ocean like ours, and for the first time in our life, the future actually looks promising. I, for one, look forward to being a member of the first, working generation in a very long time, that didn't have to move away to feed myself and pay my bills.





    The haters are going to have it rough when we start getting paid from one of Williams deals if they think all the credit belongs to past premiers now, lol. I hope the man celebrates his hundredth birthday on the eigth floor, hahaha.

  • don
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    To Saucy Face: If the USA would get out of the stupid wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it would eliminate its deficit and pay down its debt in a very short time. At least the USA has the means to pay its bills in the long run. I don't think we have the capacity to do that in Newfoundland and Labrador even if we are prepared to cut services, raise taxes and streamline Government.