New Brunswick Budget 2016:
Restructuring, HST Increase and Cuts a Major Theme
February 2 - Fredericton
With the HST increasing by 2 percentage points later this year, and a swath of cuts and restructuring across the public service, New Brunswickers seem to be in for even more belt-tightening in the coming fiscal year.
The provincial government of Premier Brian Gallant tabled its 2016-17 budget earlier today by Finance Minister Roger Melanson.
Some good news points to the Disability Support Program, which currently offers flexible support for persons with disabilities. This program will provide clients with the option to self-manage their own disability support funding.
Also in the social services and health portfolios, the Department of Social Development will be introducing dollar maximums and frequency limits to its Health Services Program.
Overall, this Budget focuses on finding efficiencies and revenue in what is already a less-than-robust economy.
New Brunswick Budget 2015:
Investments in Job Creation and Families Despite Tough Challenges
March 31 - Fredericton
The provincial government of Premier Brian Gallant tabled its
2015-16 budget earlier today by Finance Minister Roger Melanson.
Cuts to school districts and courthouses were prominent, as was the introduction of a new tax bracket that will affect the wealthiest of New Brunswickers. A sell-off of Crown assets is under consideration, and the public service is targeted for significant reduction.
While there was no increase to the provincial HST, there will be an immediate increase in gasoline taxes.
Among the various measures in job creation, the Budget provides funding for the new economic development agency Opportunities New Brunswick which will combine the best business expertise from the private and public sectors.
Health and social expenditures include removing the maximum daily amount for nursing home care, from the current cap of $113 per day when the average true cost of nursing home care is approximately $233 per day.
The government will also continue to exempt the family home from the assessment of a senior's ability to pay for long-term care, but no longer exempting liquid financial assets such as savings or investments when undertaking financial assessments for nursing home residents. The Department of Social Development will be reviewing consulting on this policy before it is introduced this fall.
Another measure increases the premiums for seniors who use the Medavie Blue Cross Seniors Prescription Drug Program for the fist time since 2009.
Overall, Department of Health expenditures will be held at almost zero per cent budget growth.
There is a proposed increase to the budget for the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development by 3.1 per cent, allowing for new, comprehensive plans for both education and literacy.
Budget 2015 also provides tax breaks to allow seniors or their families to renovate their homes to stay independent longer. A New Brunswick Seniors' Home Renovation Tax Credit will be introduced, effective for the 2015 taxation year.
Official budget documents for the New Brunswick 2015-2016 Budget may fe found at:
2014 New Brunswick Budget:
Government Stays the Course
February 4, 2014 - Fredericton
Finance Minister Blaine Higgs delivered the fourth provincial budget of the government under Premier David Alward this afternoon, a spending plan that continues the four-year trend of maximizing efficiencies and "spending smarter".
Spending will remain below historical norms. Exceptions are found in priority areas such as health and senior care.
Public service reform and shrinkage will continue while maximizing service delivery throughout the machinery of government.
Roughly $27 million will be invested in the affordable drug insurance program. The Province's Home First Strategy receives $7.2 million. Future investments and initiatives in the Health and aging portfolios will be guided by the recommendations from the "Living Healthy, Aging Well" report, released in December 2012.
The government has not introduced any personal or corporate tax rate changes in the 2014-2015 budget. $223.3 million has been committed for repairs and maintenance of transportation infrastructure. School infrastructure receives $99.4 million for K-12 school-years. Overall, $212.9 million has been committed for maintenance and improvement of health care infrastructure.
New Brunswickers go to the polls this September.
Official Budget documents for the New Brunswick 2013-2014 Budget may be found at: www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/departments/finance/budget/2014-2015/budget.html
New Brunswick Focuses on Deficit and Economy
March 26, 2013 – Fredericton
Finance Minister Blaine Higgs delivered the third provincial budget of the government under Premier David Alward this afternoon. As expected, the mantra of "spending smarter" comprised the main theme of New Brunswick's 2013 Budget
This year's budget is a zero-growth budget for the healthcare portfolio, the largest share of provincial spending. Elsewhere, budget cuts prevail. With modest increases in taxes on significant spending reductions, the immediate economic forecasts is less than rosy.
One exception is Education and Early Childhood Development, which sees a $3.5 million increase this year. Social Development, too, receives more money. to the tune of $4.7 million, for items ranging from social assistance rates and special care homes to poverty reduction measures and nursing home renovation.
The Province is raising personal income tax rates to where they stood in 2006. Translation: someone earning $40,000 per year will see a $6 increase bi-weekly.
And smokers will incur additional sin taxes, collectively contributing an additional $14 million to the Provincial treasury.
Last year's budget, with an emphasis on becoming smaller, reducing costs and achieving program efficiencies, was a fitting precursor this year's somewhat "streamlined" 2013 Budget
Official Budget documents for the New Brunswick 2013-2014 Budget may be found at: www.gnb.ca/finance.