Newfoundland deficit up on lower oil royalties
ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Newfoundland and Labrador will target big spending in health, education and by the Crown corporation overseeing the bloated Muskrat Falls project as its deficit mounts.
The province is now expecting a deficit of $852 million this fiscal year, up from $778 million predicted in last April’s budget. Finance Minister Tom Osborne said Tuesday the increased shortfall is largely due to lower offshore oil royalties. They dropped $147 million from budget projections thanks to deflated prices and higher exchange rates.
A Conference Board of Canada economist recently described overspending in the province as “a ticking time bomb.”
Still, Osborne said it’s encouraging the governing Liberals are close to revenue projections and on target to cut costs.