Nova Scotia’s deficit forecast will be at least $300 million higher than when the Liberal government’s first fiscal update is delivered on Thursday.
The interim leader of the NDP says the new Finance Minister is planning to inflate the budget deficit for political purposes.
Maureen MacDonald says the Liberals are planning to tack $300-million in unfunded pension liability on the current budget instead of amortizing it over 11 years as the Dexter government had planned.
The Auditor General and the Finance Department disagreed on how to proceed with this, but MacDonald says the government got legal advice before deciding to spread out the pension liability.
Whalen confirmed to the Canadian Press she’s taking the advice from Jacques Lapointe, who has told the new Liberal government it should account for the in this fiscal year.
Whalen says she doesn’t have to follow Jacques Lapointe’s advice, but it would be imprudent to ignore him.
Nova Scotia’s opposition leader is unimpressed with the prospect of the HST cut not going ahead.
“Step one for us is to actually get the budget balanced, and not just complain about the last government,” said PC Leader Jamie Baillie.
“The deficit is what’s standing between Nova Scotians and fair taxes,” said Baillie. “We see it that way and want the budget balanced. The Liberals are using it as an excuse to keep our taxes high. That’s the difference between us and the Liberals.”
Baillie says he doesn’t buy the argument that outside forces, like a weak US economy, prevent Nova Scotia from balancing the books and proceeding with the HST cut.