New Brunswick forecasts $391-million deficit in final budget before election

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FREDERICTON - The New Brunswick government has tabled its final budget before the September election, forecasting a deficit of $391 million for the 2014-15 fiscal year.

The $8.4-billion fiscal plan calls for a three per cent increase in social assistance rates that will take effect in April.

It also projects the debt to rise to $12.2 billion.

Finance Minister Blaine Higgs also revealed details of the province's new catastrophic drug plan, which allocates $27 million to the initiative in the next year.

The government also released a $555-million capital budget, but only $35 million of that is set aside for new projects.

Higgs says the government will also introduce fiscal accountability legislation requiring the auditor general to report on the government's finances 60 days in advance of each fixed election date.

The next election is set for Sept. 22.

Geographic location: New Brunswick, FREDERICTON

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