Taxpayers will find out Tuesday how much — or how little — is in the provincial budget for the programs they want.

Finance Minister Michael Baker has been hinting for months that the budget will be pretty lean.
“We think it’s a balanced list of choices Nova Scotians will support,” Baker said.

During the first day of the legislature’s spring sitting yesterday, Premier Rodney MacDonald hinted there will be help for low-income Nova Scotians struggling with the increased cost of oil. The province began rebating eight per cent of the HST charged on energy bills last year, in a concession to the opposition NDP, but the Liberals have argued that doesn’t help the poor enough.


The minority Tories will need opposition support to pass the budget. NDP leader Darrell Dexter told reporters the province hasn’t displayed “managerial competence” around handling the province’s finances or promoting immigration.

“Budgets are the one time of the year where you actually get an opportunity to express confidence in the government,” Dexter said.

“The real question will be, does a vote in favour of the budget act as an endorsement of the government? That’s a pretty weighty question for all of us.”

Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil said his party will consider the budget once it’s tabled.

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