10/15/2012 07:30 EDT | Updated 12/15/2012 05:12 EST

Ontario deficit down slightly to $14.4B

Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan says the province's deficit dropped slightly since the government released its budget in the spring.

In an economic update presented in the legislature on Monday, Duncan said the province's deficit stands at $14.4 billion, down from the $15.3 billion announced in the spring budget.

A $430-million increase in tax revenues accounts for much of the difference and expenditures are expected to remain virtually unchanged.

Duncan is also tweaking his economic growth projection, which is pegged at two per cent this year, up slightly from the 1.7 per cent predicted in the budget.

But growth for the next year is forecast at 1.9 per cent, down from the previous 2.2 per cent forecast.

A key assumption in Duncan's figures is that the government will get its wage-freeze bill passed and won't have to hike pay for public employees.

Duncan said his party is willing to work with the Ontario Progressive Conservatives, while lashing out against the NDP, who he accused of turning a blind eye to the state of the province's finances.