N.L. budget will be released April 14

Published on March 23, 2016
Cathy Bennett.
Telegram file photo

Finance Minister Cathy Bennett will deliver the provincial budget on April 14.

Drawing together the budget has been the main preoccupation of the Liberal government since they took power in December of last year, but there’s been no firm date on when the final product would be made public until now.

“We promised the people of the province that we would release our budget after the federal government announced their budget,” Bennett said in a news release. “Now that we have had the opportunity to review the budget details and the role it plays in the province’s finances, we are in a position to finalize and release our budget, multi-year fiscal targets and our plan to deal with the unprecedented fiscal situation the province is facing. The challenges this province is encountering did not happen overnight and cannot be solved overnight. Budget 2016 is the first step in reshaping our fiscal future.”

The government is grappling with a forecasted $2.4-billion deficit in the coming year, driven by a precipitous drop in oil prices, and over-spending.

Early indications are that the budget will involve tax increases, public sector layoffs, and major restructuring to the way programs and services are delivered.