NEWS

B.C. still on track to balance budget

09/10/2013 02:18 EDT | Updated 11/10/2013 05:12 EST
B.C.'s Finance Minster Mike de Jong says the province is still on track to post a budget surplus, but it's on balanced on a "razor's edge" with no room for additional spending.

"The year-end surplus for 2013-14 is now projected to be $136 million, which is down slightly by $17 million from the June budget update," said a statement released by de Jong on Tuesday morning as part of the September quarterly update.

"Revenues have improved by $69 million, partly offsetting higher expenses of $86 million, primarily for statutory spending on fighting fires and flood-related emergency programs.

"As well, the taxpayer-supported debt-to-GDP ratio is now 18.3 per cent, which is one-tenth of a percentage point lower than the June budget update."

De Jong is also seeking taxpayer input to guide the government's spending priorities, with a public consultation process. Details are available on the Finance Ministry website.

The finance minister also defended the government's decision not to hold a fall sitting of the legislature, saying governing is not just about being in the legislature.

The B.C. government has sat less than 40 days in the legislature this year, one the fewest number of days for an provincial legislature in Canada this year.

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