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The Globe and Mail

New Brunswick forecasts $391-million deficit, but Tories say surplus lies ahead

New Brunswick Finance Minister Blaine Higgs is shown in Fredericton on March 22, 2011.


The New Brunswick Tory government is forecasting its fourth consecutive deficit, but it says better times are on the horizon.

Finance Minister Blaine Higgs delivered a budget that projects a deficit of $391-million for 2014-15 and the debt to rise to $12.2-billion.

But Higgs says he expects a surplus of $119-million for 2017-18.

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Liberal Opposition Leader Brian Gallant says he's skeptical of the figures.

Gallant says that's because the government has consistently overestimated revenues and underestimated expenses.

The budget is also calling for a 3-per-cent hike in social assistance rates in April.

Also, $27-million is being set aside for the catastrophic drug program.

The budget is the government's last before an election set for Sept. 22.

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