The NDP have released the audited public accounts for the province.
Finance Minister Carole James says the audited financial statements show an operating surplus of 2 point 7 billion dollars.
She says, however, that’s a surplus that doesn’t reflect reality…..
The Public Accounts show a 591 million dollar increase in overall debt.
Revenue from taxation was 2 point 8 billion higher than budgeted.
A provincial budget update will be presented on September 11th but the actual budget for the province won’t come down until February.
James says it will focus on maintaining strong economic growth, while making key, targeted investments to begin to increase affordability and supports for services that people count on most.
In the meantime, the office of the B.C. Auditor General has released its opinion on the government’s financial statements.
Deputy Auditor General Russ Jones says there are three qualifications, or concerns, about errors or inaccuracies in the statements.
He says this is the fifth consecutive year the Auditor’s office has issued a qualification on the way the government records transfer payments, specifically from the federal government……
Another problem with the financial statements is that the province continues to consider the 3 point 4 billion dollar debt of the Transportation Investment Corporation as self supporting debt, but it should be considered taxpayer supported debt.
Jones says, a new issue with the books this time around is about rate-regulated accounting, which is supposed to be independent, but there is some interference in the process by the B.C. government.