01/17/2012 08:14 EST | Updated 03/18/2012 05:12 EDT

Tax system favours wealthy, citizens tell New Brunswick finance minister

SAINT JOHN, N.B. - New Brunswick's finance minister has heard some complaints about tax breaks for the wealthy.

Blaine Higgs was in Saint John on Tuesday for the first in a series of public meetings as he crafts a provincial budget aimed at taming the government's debt.

Gerald O'Dell told Higgs the government has been giving too many handouts to the rich.

He said it's unfair that wealthier citizens are seeing tax reductions while other citizens are growing "poorer and poorer."

Higgs said the tax system is under review, as are various spending programs.

Higgs also told a standing-room only crowd that promises made during election campaigns are not making the fiscal situation in the province any better.

Other people attending the meeting told Higgs there are too many managers in the province's school system and that the province could reduce the number of provincial legislators.