By The Canadian Press
Nova Scotia's fiscal status to be updated Thursday
Diana Whalen said Wednesday the deficit will be at least $300 million higher than suggested by the previous government.
Whalen says the higher forecast is coming because she's following the advice of auditor general Jacques Lapointe, who recently told the government it should account for the unfunded liability in the public service pension plan in this fiscal year.
The acting leader of the New Democrats says the Liberals are artificially inflating the deficit to make the previous NDP government look bad.
Maureen MacDonald says Whalen's approach to the pension liability ran counter to a legal opinion she received in February when she was still finance minister.
She says she was advised it would be better to amortize the liability over a period of 11 years, putting less strain on the budget.
However, Whalen cited a Nov. 29 letter from the auditor general that says his reading of the legal opinion led him to conclude the liability had to be accounted for in this fiscal year.