Highlights of Quebec's 2014-15 budget, which was tabled Wednesday

QUEBEC – Highlights of Quebec’s 2014-15 budget, which Finance Minister Carlos Leitao tabled Wednesday:

Deficit: $2.35 billion on revenue of $71.4 billion; projected balanced budget in 2015-16.

Government spending: Growth of 1.9 per cent.

Government revenue: Growth of 2.9 per cent.

Daycare: Increases to $7.30 a day from $7, as of Oct. 1; creation of 6,300 new places this year.

Tobacco: Hike of $4 for a carton of 200 cigarettes, as of Thursday; expected additional tax revenue of $90 million this year, $120 million in 2015-16 and $115 million in 2016-17.

Alcohol 1: Five-cent tax increase on a 341-millilitre bottle of beer purchased for at-home consumption, as of Aug. 1; 24-cent hike on a 750-millilitre bottle of wine.

Alcohol 2: Seven-cent tax reduction on a 341-millilitre bottle of beer purchased in a bar, as of Aug. 1; 92-cent reduction on a 750-millilitre bottle of wine.

Income tax: No new hikes.

Tax expenditure measures: Reduction of 20 per cent in the rates of several business tax credits as well as the elimination or suspension of certain tax measures. Expected to result in spending reductions of $348 million.

Public sector: Hiring freeze through 2015-16; expected savings of $600 million over the two years.

Quote: ”It’s a serious budget because it’s a serious situation.” — Finance Minister Carlos Leitao.