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Newfoundland and Labrador auditor general raises concerns about finances

Newfoundland Finance Minister Tom Marshall blames the province’s financial shortfall on its reliance on the unpredictable offshore oil industry.


Newfoundland and Labrador's auditor general is raising concerns about the province's finances.

Terry Paddon tabled a report today with the provincial legislature on the 2012-13 fiscal year outlining areas he says need to be monitored.

Paddon says the provincial government should watch the sustainability of program expenditures and its unfunded pension liability.

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He also says close monitoring of the Muskrat Falls project will be required to ensure equity requirements resulting from cost overruns are minimized.

The province recorded a deficit of $195-million for the last fiscal year, with a deficit of $451-million forecast for this year.

Provincial net debt increased by $511-million to $8.3-billion last year, and Paddon says this year's deficit will push that higher.

Finance Minister Tom Marshall says the government's goal is to ensure the long-term sustainability of programs and services.

Marshall says the government will oversee the work on construction of Muskrat Falls to ensure it minimizes risk to taxpayers and ratepayers.

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