Newfoundland and Labrador freezes discretionary spending as oil prices fall

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – Premier Paul Davis of Newfoundland and Labrador has announced a freeze on discretionary spending out of concerns over falling oil prices.

Davis says the provincial government chose to take the measure following OPEC’s decision to maintain its oil production target, a move expected to further drive down the price of oil.

He also says all government department hiring will be based on critical needs.

The province relies on its offshore oil sector for about a third of government revenues.

The government’s last budget was based on an average price of Brent crude at US$105 a barrel, but it is trading at about $30 less than that.