Tom Marshall, minister of finance and president of Treasury Board. — Telegram file photo
Higher offshore oil royalties and increases in personal income and sales taxes are being credited for a surplus of $882.8 million in the latest audited financial statements released for the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Finance Minister and Treasury Board president Tom Marshall released audited financial statements today for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2012.
Marshall said this surplus is significantly higher than the original budgeted surplus of $59.1 million, but is more closely aligned with the revised surplus of $776.4 million that was projected at budget time in April 2012.
The province says it has also significantly reduced the provincial net debt by $2.4 billion since 2008. Net debt per capita has declined substantially from $20,120 to $15,264 over that same period which means that Newfoundland and Labrador no longer has the highest net debt per capita in Canada.
“The fact that offshore oil royalties increased by almost $590 million over budget shows just how volatile our revenue streams can be,” said Marshall. “In the past few years, oil prices have contributed positively to the province’s bottom line. However, in the current fiscal year, the continued slowdown of the global economy has resulted in a reduced demand for oil and minerals and the volatility has shifted in the opposite direction to produce a negative result for the province as was reported in the 2012 mid-year fiscal update. Accordingly, as we move forward we must ensure that our level of spending is sustainable and in line with the lower projected revenues.”
The public accounts are prepared in accordance with the standards established for governments by the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants. The consolidated summary, as well as the financial statements of the Consolidated Revenue Fund, were independently audited by the Auditor General, who confirmed the financial results reported for March 31, 2012.
The public accounts and related reports for 2011-12 are available online at www.gov.nl.ca/fin/public_accounts/index.html.