New Brunswick budget highlights include civil service cuts, Crown asset sales


New Brunswick Finance Minister Blaine Higgs arrives to table the provincial budget at the legislature in Fredericton, Tuesday, March 27, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/David Smith
The Canadian Press
FREDERICTON - Highlights of the New Brunswick spring budget introduced Tuesday:
A deficit of $182.9 million is projected in an $8.2 billion spending program.

Net debt expected to reach $10.8 billion by March 2013, an increase of $738.9 million.

The government says 1,500 public sector jobs will be lost through attrition for each of the next three years, though as many as two-thirds of those positions could be replaced because they're considered essential.

The government will sell Crown assets valued at about $10 million this year, and will look at selling the government airplane and review policies for government vehicles.

_ The biggest slice of the budget goes to the Health Department at almost $2.6 billion, an increase of $41 million.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version incorrectly said that the government will reduce the number of public sector jobs by 1,500 through attrition for each of the next three years, without taking into account that the government plans to replace up to two-thirds of those positions.
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Last changed: March 27. 2012 11:40AM