Opposition Tories say Liberals missed opportunity to balance budget

(CP) - New Brunswick's Tory Opposition says the governing Liberals have missed an opportunity to balance the province's budget.

When Finance Minister Cathy Rogers tabled a new budget on Tuesday, February 7th, she called her approach to deficit reduction slow and steady.

She says the province is on track to balance the budget in 2020.

Her budget increased spending for health care, for universities, for education, and for daycare assistance.

Overall expenditures rose 3.6 per cent.

However Tory finance critic Bruce Fitch says he's worried because the debt has grown to 14 billion dollars.

He says the province could have used money from the H-S-T increase last year to wipe out a projected 192-million dollar deficit.

Green party Leader David Coon disagrees, saying the province is catching up with basic social programs, and its per capita debt is still lower than Ontario or Quebec's.