Nova Scotia government uses majority to pass $9.5 billion spring budget

HALIFAX – Nova Scotia’s NDP government used its majority in the legislature to pass its $9.5 billion spring budget on Tuesday.

The vote was 27 to 20 with the opposition Liberals and Progressive Conservatives voting against the budget.

Tabled on April 4 by Finance Minister Maureen MacDonald, the 2013-14 fiscal plan forecasts a slim surplus of $16.4 million.

The budget may be the last before an expected provincial election later this year.

It contains several new voter-friendly funding programs and tax breaks for low-income seniors and small businesses.

There are also measures to help boost government revenues including user fee hikes and a tax increase on tobacco.