Newfoundland Finance Minister Tom Marshall (right) and deputy minister Terry Paddon answer questions from the media today prior to Marshall delivering the budget in the House of Assembly. Photo by Gary Hebbard/The Telegram
The provincial government brought down a nearly $7 billion budget today that delivers major spending in health-care, education and continuing economic stimulus, while offering some tax reductions, including to seniors and small business.
Budget 2010 also projects a revised deficit of $294.9 million for 2009-10, and forecasts a deficit of $194.3 million for 2010-11.
There were no changes to fees or licences collected on behalf of the province such as to motor vehicle registrations, hunting licences, or vital statistics services.
There will, however, be an increase in tax for both cigarettes and fine-cut tobacco.
"The economic outlook for Newfoundland and Labrador in 2010 is quite positive," Finance Minister Tom Marshall said in delivering the budget, his third and the seventh for the Williams' government.
"We must maintain the momentum here at home and continue to invest to provide jobs and opportunities for the people of our province."
• $1 billion infrastructure program;
• A record budget of $2.7 billion for health and community services;
• New tax measures to benefit seniors, small business and others putting about $49 million back into the pockets of residents;
• $1.3 billion in education spending;
• An overall budget of $167 million for the further development of the Department of Child, Youth and Family Services;
• $134 million for the fight against poverty through the Poverty Reduction Strategy;
• and an investment of more than $158 million in Labrador through the Northern Strategic Plan.
Premier Danny Williams said the initiatives laid out in the budget allow for the protection of the province's children's health and safety, quality education, improved access to healthcare and significant economic stimulus.
"We will continue our aggressive infrastructure strategy and approach to economic stimulus, while also ensuring quality programs and services for our people."
Further budget details today, and continued coverage on our website and in Tuesday's print edition, including reaction.