POLITICS

Highlights of the 2015-16 Nova Scotia budget introduced Thursday

04/09/2015 12:38 EDT | Updated 06/09/2015 05:59 EDT
HALIFAX - Highlights of the 2015-16 Nova Scotia budget introduced Thursday:

— Deficit of $97.6 million is projected in a $10-billion budget, with net debt reaching $15.1 billion in this fiscal year.

— A $24 million film tax credit is maintained for this year, but the amount of money available is cut in 2016.

— Tobacco taxes increase by two cents a cigarette, effective on Friday.

— The civil service will see the elimination of the equivalent of 320 full-time jobs, mainly through attrition and vacancies.

— Another $2 million will be spent to pay for 450 more orthopedic surgeries, while $700,000 will go to expand the sexual assault nurse examiner program to two more areas.

— University operating grants go up by one per cent or $3.2 million and schools will be allowed a one time market adjustment to tuitions before the current three-per-cent cap on tuition increases is maintained again.

— The cap on university tuition increases is eliminated for out-of-province and graduate students.