Newfoundland and Labrador budget projects $1.84-billion deficit

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – The Newfoundland and Labrador government is projecting an $1.84-billion deficit for the current fiscal year – a $309-million improvement from what it had forecast in July.

Provincial net debt is expected to reach $16.4 billion, or about $31,000 per person in the province.

The government says the smaller deficit projection for the 2020-21 fiscal year comes from unexpected pandemic help from the federal government and an improvement in oil prices.

Even so, the province anticipates a $430-million drop in oil royalties compared with the 2019-2020 budget.

Finance Minister Siobhan Coady said the 2020-2021 budget is a “hold-the-line” budget as the province navigates a global pandemic.

The budget was delivered Wednesday, halfway through the year, because of delays associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 30, 2020.

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