POLITICS

Oil cash, spending cuts helped reduce Newfoundland and Labrador deficit

10/29/2014 03:34 EDT | Updated 12/29/2014 05:59 EST
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Newfoundland and Labrador racked up a $388.6-million deficit in 2013-14, down from almost $564 million forecast in the last budget.

The Progressive Conservative government confirmed the new figure as it released its public accounts.

Finance Minister Ross Wiseman says higher offshore oil earnings and spending cuts helped reduce the deficit by $175.2 million.

The province relies on the offshore oil sector for about one-third of its revenues.

Its most recent budget last March projected an average oil price of US$105 a barrel but it's now trading at about $18 less than that.

Former finance minister Charlene Johnson said at the time that it costs the province about $30 million for each dollar the price falls short.