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Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick
Status of Legislation - First Reading Bill
Fiscal Responsibility and Balanced Budget Act
 
Legislature :
55
Session :
3
Bill No. :
2
Member :
Hon. Volpé
First Reading :
2005-12-7
Second Reading :
2005-12-9
Committee of the Whole :
2006-6-20
Amended :
Third Reading :
2006-6-21
Royal Assent :
2006-6-22
Download PDF :
  Bill 2         
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Text of Bill :
Chapter Outline



Definitions and interpretation.......................................................................................................... 1

expenses — charges

first fiscal period — première période financière

fiscal period — période financière

fiscal year — année financière

GDP — PIB

Minister — ministre

net debt — dette nette

revenue — recettes

subsequent fiscal period — période financière subséquente

PART 1

BALANCED BUDGET

Objective of the Government of New Brunswick in relation to balanced budgets...................... 2

Effect of changes in accounting policies and procedures.............................................................. 3

Effect of changes in the estimates of the Government of Canada................................................ 4

Estimates to be reported to Legislative Assembly by Minister.................................................... 5

Information to be included in the Public Accounts........................................................................ 6

Examination by Auditor General...................................................................................................... 7

PART 2

REDUCTION IN NET DEBT TO GDP RATIO

Objective of the Government of New Brunswick in relation to ratio of net debt to GDP.......... 8

Estimates to be reported to Legislative Assembly by Minister.................................................... 9

Information to be included in the Public Accounts...................................................................... 10

Examination by Auditor General.................................................................................................... 11

PART 3

FISCAL ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY

Laying Main Estimates before Legislative Assembly.................................................................. 12

Laying Capital Estimates before Legislative Assembly............................................................... 13

Laying fiscal updates before Legislative Assembly..................................................................... 14

Pre-budget consultation.................................................................................................................. 15

PART 4

CONSEQUENTIAL AMENDMENTS, REPEAL AND COMMENCEMENT

Consequential amendments to Financial Administration Act.................................................... 16

Repeal of Balanced Budget Act..................................................................................................... 17

Commencement............................................................................................................................... 18





Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick, enacts as follows:



Definitions and interpretation

1(1)                   The following definitions apply in this Act.



"expenses", in relation to a particular fiscal year, means the expenses of the Province as reported in the Public Accounts for that fiscal year. (charges)



"first fiscal period" means the period of 3 fiscal years commencing on April 1, 2004 and ending on March 31, 2007. (première période financière)



"fiscal period" means a first fiscal period or a subsequent fiscal period, as the case may be. (période financière)



"fiscal year" means the period commencing on April 1 in one year and ending on March 31 in the next year. (année financière)



"GDP", in relation to a particular year, means the nominal Gross Domestic Product for the Province as set out for that year in the most recent version of the Provincial Economic Accounts published by Statistics Canada under the authority of the Statistics Act (Canada). (PIB)



"Minister" means the Minister of Finance. (ministre)



"net debt", in relation to a particular fiscal year, means the net debt of the Province in that fiscal year as reported in the most recent Public Accounts. (dette nette)



"revenue", in relation to a particular fiscal year, means the revenue of the Province as reported in the Public Accounts for that fiscal year. (recettes)



"subsequent fiscal period" means a period consisting of 4 consecutive fiscal years with the first such period commencing on April 1, 2007 and ending on March 31, 2011, and each successive period commencing on the day following completion of the preceding period. (période financière subséquente)



1(2)                   For the purposes of sections 8, 9 and 10, March 31, 2004 is the end of the previous fiscal period for the fiscal period commencing on April 1, 2004.



PART 1

BALANCED BUDGET

Objective of the Government of New Brunswick in relation to balanced budgets

2                           It is the objective of the Government of New Brunswick that, in respect of each fiscal period, the total amount of expenses for that fiscal period not exceed the total amount of revenue for that fiscal period.



Effect of changes in accounting policies and procedures

3                           For the purposes of this Part, any change made in the accounting policies or procedures of the Government of New Brunswick applies prospectively as of the first day of the fiscal year in which the change is implemented and does not affect any previous fiscal year.



Effect of changes in the estimates of the Government of Canada

4(1)                   For the purposes of this Part, any change made within the last 15 months of a fiscal period or after completion of that fiscal period in relation to the official estimates by the Government of Canada respecting provincial entitlements under the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act (Canada), the Canada-New Brunswick Tax Collection Agreement or the Comprehensive Integrated Tax Coordination Agreement for any fiscal year before the last fiscal year of the fiscal period shall not be taken into account.



4(2)                   For the purposes of this Part, any change made in relation to the first official estimates by the Government of Canada respecting provincial entitlements under the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act (Canada), the Canada-New Brunswick Tax Collection Agreement or the Comprehensive Integrated Tax Coordination Agreement for the last fiscal year of a fiscal period shall not be taken into account.





Estimates to be reported to Legislative Assembly by Minister

5                           When the Main Estimates are laid before the Legislative Assembly, the Minister shall report to the Legislative Assembly estimates of,



(a)               subject to sections 3 and 4, the difference between revenue and expenses for the fiscal year to which the Main Estimates relate, and



(b)               subject to sections 3 and 4, the cumulative difference between revenue and expenses between the beginning of the current fiscal period and the end of the fiscal year to which the Main Estimates relate.



Information to be included in the Public Accounts

6                           The Public Accounts shall include the following information:



(a)               subject to sections 3 and 4, the difference between revenue and expenses for the fiscal year to which the Public Accounts relate; and



(b)               subject to sections 3 and 4, the cumulative difference between revenue and expenses between the beginning of the current fiscal period and the end of the fiscal year to which the Public Accounts relate.



Examination by Auditor General

7                           The Auditor General shall examine the information referred to in section 6 to be included in the Public Accounts and shall express his or her opinion as to whether the information is fairly presented in accordance with the provisions of this Act.



PART 2

REDUCTION IN NET DEBT TO GDP RATIO

Objective of the Government of New Brunswick in relation to ratio of net debt to GDP

8                           It is the objective of the Government of New Brunswick that at the end of each fiscal period the ratio of net debt to GDP be less than at the end of the previous fiscal period.



Estimates to be reported to Legislative Assembly by Minister

9                           When the Main Estimates are laid before the Legislative Assembly, the Minister shall report to the Legislative Assembly estimates of



(a)               the ratio of net debt to GDP for the fiscal year to which the Main Estimates relate, and



(b)               the difference between the ratio of net debt to GDP at the end of the previous fiscal period and the end of the fiscal year to which the Main Estimates relate.



Information to be included in the Public Accounts

10                        The Public Accounts shall include the following information:



(a)               the ratio of net debt to GDP for the fiscal year to which the Public Accounts relate; and



(b)               the difference between the ratio of net debt to GDP at the end of the previous fiscal period and the end of the fiscal year to which the Public Accounts relate.



Examination by Auditor General

11                        The Auditor General shall examine the information referred to in section 10 to be included in the Public Accounts and shall express his or her opinion as to whether the information is fairly presented.



PART 3

FISCAL ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY

Laying Main Estimates before Legislative Assembly

12                        The Minister shall lay before the Legislative Assembly not later than March 31 in each year the Main Estimates for the next fiscal year.



Laying Capital Estimates before Legislative Assembly

13                        The Minister shall lay before the Legislative Assembly not later than December 31 in each year the Capital Estimates for the next fiscal year.



Laying fiscal updates before Legislative Assembly

14                        The Minister shall lay before the Legislative Assembly, not later than December 31 and March 31 in each fiscal year, fiscal updates that contain revised forecasts of the economic situation and financial condition of the Province for the current fiscal year.



Pre-budget consultation

15                        Each year the Minister shall provide details as to how the public may participate in pre-budget consultations and shall make public a pre-budget consultation document that sets out the key fiscal issues for consideration by the public.



PART 4

CONSEQUENTIAL AMENDMENTS, REPEAL AND COMMENCEMENT

Consequential amendments to Financial Administration Act

16(1)               The Financial Administration Act, chapter F-11 of the Revised Statutes, 1973, is amended by adding after section 48 the following:



48.1                  The Minister shall lay before the Legislative Assembly not later than September 30 in each year the financial statements of the Province for the previous fiscal year with respect to which the Auditor General, following examination, has given an opinion in accordance with section 10 of the Auditor General Act.



16(2)               Section 49 of the Act is repealed.



Repeal of Balanced Budget Act

17                        The Balanced Budget Act, chapter B-0.01 of the Acts of New Brunswick, 1993, is repealed.



Commencement

18                        This Act or any provision of it comes into force on a day or days to be fixed by proclamation.
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Legend
* Private Bill
** Bill referred to Standing Committee on Law Amendments
+ Private Member's Public Bill
++ Motion for second reading defeated
+++ Debate at second reading adjourned
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