New Brunswick's projected deficit has nearly doubled to $356 million — a bleak outlook the province blames on falling government revenues.
The province's deficit has grown by $173 million in the past six months, according to the government's second quarter fiscal update released Thursday. In March, Finance Minister Blaine Higgs predicted a $183-million deficit.
"Lower-than-projected revenues have had a significant impact on our original budget forecast," Higgs said in a statement. "While these decreased revenues may not have been foreseeable, they cause shortfalls which need to be addressed by focusing on reducing spending and living within our means."
Provincial revenues were $123 million shy of what was expected. Higgs blamed lower-than-expected income tax, harmonized sales tax and corporate tax revenues.
Expense projections, meanwhile, have increased by $51 million.
"Rebuilding our province's finances remains a key priority of our government," Higgs said. "We must all work together to meet our budget objectives."