Manitoba’s deficit is more than $1 billion, the new Progressive Conservative government says.
That’s about $350 million more than the core deficit the NDP disclosed at the beginning of March ($666 million).
But both sides say the other party owe Manitobans an explanation
PC Finance Minister Cameron Friesen says the reason for the discrepancy is the NDP overstated revenues and understated departmental spending for the 2015-2016 budget year, but would not go into much further detail.
He accused the NDP of purposely misleading Manitobans.
“This was not accidental. This is not a runoff. This was reckless,” he said.
NDP Finance critic James Allum says he doesn’t know how the PCs got to $1 billion because they didn’t provide any further numbers.
He says blaming a high deficit on the previous government is the oldest trick in the Tory playbook and they will use it as an excuse for massive cuts in the next couple of years.
As for what that means for the May 31 budget and for a timeline to balance the books, Friesen says they are now working that out.