Newfoundland and Labrador budget coming April 6

High level of concern over N.L. provincial debt: CRA poll

Newfoundland and Labrador's 2017 budget will be brought down on April 6, Finance Minister Cathy Bennett announced Thursday.

The province continues to face "a very serious financial situation and our government is focused on strong fiscal management," Bennett said. 

"We have established financial targets and are committed to meeting them."

Bennett noted that the Liberal government has cut spending over the past year, and the projected deficit is lower than that predicted in the 2016 budget — to $1.58 billion compared to $1.83 billion.

The government has, in recent months, announced the elimination of 300 civil service management jobs, and said it wants to trim $244 million in spending.

Mount Pearl North MHA Steve Kent said people in the province are still dealing with the impact of that last budget, which he said led to "hardship."

Personal tax increases, the income levy and higher corporate taxes pushed the province into a recession, Kent told the legislature Thursday.

Lorraine Michael, the NDP member for St. John's East-Quidi Vidi, said the upcoming budget will be "brutal," and suggested that taxpayers "brace themselves."