09/08/2011 02:15 EDT | Updated 11/08/2011 05:12 EST

B.C. Deficit Triples With Rejection Of HST

Flickr: Diego3336

B.C.'s finance minister says the province's deficit has tripled because of the rejection of the HST and that is going to mean cuts to government spending in the years ahead.

In his latest quarterly report, Minister Kevin Falcon says scrapping the HST will cost the province $2.3 billion over three years but the government still intends to balance its budget by 2014.

"People need to understand it is going to be a government that is going to be run very, very tightly from a fiscal point of view," said Falcon.

The minister says it's sober assessment, but he intends to protect health care and education. Other ministries and agencies will be looking for ways to cut costs, he says.

Earlier this month British Columbians voted to scrap the province’s controversial harmonized sales tax in a province-wide referendum. Falcon has said the transition to reinstate the PST is expected to take at least 18 months.