By John Chilibeck Local Journalism Initiative Reporter New Brunswick’s expected budget surplus has ballooned by five times, to almost $200 million, according to the Progressive Conservative government’s first-quarter results. Based on the first three months of the fiscal year that began in April, the latest estimate is up from a $40-million surplus when the budget was released March 21. The news repeats a well-established pattern with the Higgs government over the last five years: Budget predictions have consistently underestimated the amount of revenue coming in and how much spending would be restrained. The opposition Liberals and Greens said it showed the government had no heart. At a news conference Monday, Finance Minister Ernie Steeves called the results encouraging, saying he would much rather see results getting better than worse. In
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