Next week, Finance Minister Ernie Steeves will table the fifth budget of the Higgs Government. After consulting with citizens and stakeholders, the Liberal Opposition is sharing what it hopes to see in the 2023-24 provincial budget.
“Team Higgs is improving their own bottom line while the people of New Brunswick continue to suffer. That’s not a strategy that makes sense for long term growth” says René Legacy, Official Opposition Finance Critic. “Year after year we’ve seen the same thing: underestimating revenue, overestimating expenses and bragging about a surplus while New Brunswickers struggle to afford or access basic necessities like housing and healthcare.”
Through conversations with New Brunswickers and stakeholders, a key takeaway from many of the conversations was the need for forward-thinking plans with a focus on people.
“Businesses, community organizations and New Brunswickers all understand that for our province to thrive people need basic necessities like: access to healthcare, affordable housing, food and heating, quality education, and a clean and safe environment” says Liberal Leader Susan Holt. “I can only imagine the Higgs Government is hearing the same things we are. This budget needs to show us they have started listening and will take action. Stakeholders and people around the province are sharing their priorities and putting out great ideas, and they deserve to know what the Government’s plan is to act on them.”
“Whether it be recruiting and retaining qualified workers in New Brunswick, resourcing the education system to handle the influx of students, or building economic infrastructure, there needs to be a forward-looking plan that doesn’t just pad the province’s bottom line but actually focuses on the people” says the Liberal Leader. “We hope to see a budget that gets the surplus working for all New Brunswickers, and sets us up for the future.”