Finance minister credits federal transfers for keeping New Brunswick in the black

New Brunswick Government

New Brunswick's finance minister says one-time federal transfers to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a greater provincial surplus last year and are keeping the province out of the red this year.

Ernie Steeves has released the audited financial statements for the 2020-2021 fiscal year showing a surplus of $408.5 million, up from the $92 million forecast.

The government is now projecting a $37.7-million surplus for the 2021-2022 fiscal year instead of a budgeted deficit of $244.8 million.

Steeves says the province wouldn't be in the situation without the federal money, and it can't count on the same kind of funding in the future.

He says the fourth wave of the pandemic is causing financial pressures because of the number of people who are hospitalized for long periods of time.

By the end of March 2022, the province's net debt is expected to be $13.4 billion, an improvement of $701.3 million over the budget projection.