Province releases audited financial statements for 2007-08 (08/09/26)

NB 1395

Sept. 26, 2008

FREDERICTON (CNB) - Audited financial statements for the 2007-08 fiscal year ending March 31, 2008 released today by the Government of New Brunswick report a surplus of $86.7 million, representing an increase of $49.6 million over the budgeted surplus of $37.1 million. This amount represents about 1.3% of the $7-billion budget.

Finance Minister Victor Boudreau said that the surplus is welcomed, but new financial challenges have arisen, which the government will be working diligently to manage during the current fiscal year.

"There have been some new challenges, such as millions of dollars which will be needed to provide flood relief to home and business owners from last spring," Boudreau said. "Like all families in the province, the government faces increased costs due to rising energy bills. As well, the global economy is affecting some areas of our finances, such as pension funds."

The province also reported an increase in the net debt of $367.8 million, which was due to a one-time payment related to completion of the Trans-Canada Highway between Woodstock and Grand Falls.

"This year we were able to realize a slightly higher surplus than anticipated at the time of the 2007-08 budget," Finance Minister Victor Boudreau said. "This was mainly due to stronger revenue than anticipated by the New Brunswick Electric Finance Corp., as well as higher revenue from metallic minerals, and income tax.

"We will continue to work very hard to ensure that we make the best fiscal choices for the taxpayers of New Brunswick as we make strides on our path towards self-sufficiency," Boudreau said.

The 2007-08 financial statements have been prepared using generally accepted Canadian accounting standards for governments, and have been given a clean audit opinion from the auditor general. In the interests of greater transparency and accountability, additional analysis is provided in this year's audited statements. This includes indicators of the province's financial health that show, overall, a favorable trend over the past five years.

The complete audited financial statements for 2007-08 may be viewed online. An update for the 2008-09 fiscal year will be tabled in the legislature this fall.


MEDIA CONTACT: Marc Belliveau, communications, Department of Finance, 506-453-4138.